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“In dire need of renovations”

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Golden Sands Villas
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
91 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“In dire need of renovations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2013

We arrived at the hotel without reservations after a local recommended it. Fortunately they had rooms available and advised a rate of over $150 for a double room. The clerk then advised it would be cheaper if we booked the room through Expedia, it would just take an hour or so for the hotel to receive the confirmation. He was right - the same room cost just over $100 on Expedia (thanks to his honesty!). Beware that while helpful, getting things done at the front desk was very time consuming. It took over 15 mins just to check in.

Our room was extremely dated, which we didn't expect since the lobby and exterior of the building looked modern. The carpet was worn and very dirty, and the bathroom looked like it hadn't been renovated since the 80s. At least all the fixtures worked. Ventilation in the room was quite poor - even with the air conditioning on, steam/moisture from the shower would not clear (also no bathroom fan). There was a large balcony and a small kitchenette that we didn't use (fridge, coffee maker, microwave).

The only redeeming qualities of this hotel are all the facilities it shares with the hotel next door (Embassy Suites). There is a large pool and small beach, with many sun chairs. There is 1 restaurant located inside Embassy Suites and an Asian restaurant across the driveway. We ate at the Asian restaurant which was surprisingly good but pricey. The hotel is isolated from the rest of the town (it's inside a gated community), so a car or cab ride would be needed.

TIP: There is a cocktail reception at the Embassy Suites every day from 5:30-7:30 - free (alcoholic) drinks and snacks! We're still not sure if we were supposed to be let in as staff didn't check room keys, but suspect it may have been meant for Embassy guests only. We went to the breakfast at Embassy one morning and were told it was included only for Embassy guests so we had to pay $17 each for the buffet.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beachE_keen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Minnesota
Level Contributor
95 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a week. 1st things 1st, when you book, it might be under Aquarius for the name. that's also the name on the building and the front gate. They're the same thing. We loved our hotel though. When you first pull onto the road to get to the hotel, you will be brought to some gates (yes, its in a gated community so it's very safe!) and you need to go to the one for Aquarius/Embassy Suites and tell the person your a guest at Aquarius. Then, you drive down the road and pass Embassy and turn right to see a stop arm gate. You need to get the ticket it gives you. Notice, there is a second gate device where it has a sign on it for "insert valid ticket" which is where you will insert that ticket every time you come back to the hotel.
When you check in, they'll need that ticket and you keep it the whole trip. In the end, it's $10 a day to park which you'll pay at check out.
Our room was clean, roomy, and had an amazing balcony to watch the waves from and overlook the area. There is an amazing pool that you share with Embassy, and a pool bar. The front desk will lend you beach towels, so thats a nice treat. They'll give you a card that you need to give them once you need towels. They also give you a card that gives you access to their beach, which is an awesome beach lagoon, very clean and not crowded.
If you need anything, you can call the desk and they'll help you in anyway they can. We wanted to rent jet ski's and they took care of everything.
You have access to Embassy's restaraunt, which had good food, but bad service. You also get to use their gym, and there's a casino and sushi bar across the road. There's a huge golf course available too.
Overall, the whole hotel was amazing. I would use this one again. Hands down, best hotel we seen the whole trip.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AshleyBreanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

This is my 4 stay in this place, but this time the cleaning was poor ,our sheet has a horrible smell horribleee and the shower are broken. I ask for other sheet and they never do my housekeeping, never, the carpet of the room are very dirty and smell horrible. That was my last time in this place. I recomend the embassy suites.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jackye12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
luisnazario2004, General Manager at Golden Sands Villas, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. This will help us to better as a company. I truely hope that you give us another opportunity.

Kind Regards!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Dorado hotels

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2012

The front desk and other staff were actually very friendly! Probably some of the friendliest. Especially the doorman/bellhop, a young man who was always smiling and asking how our day was and what we did. The lobby is average, nothing fancy. There are no obvious signs pointing to this hotel which is actually called Aquarius Vacation Club. The drive from the main road to the hotel is very confusing as it is inside of a "secured" community on a golf course. The road was annoying to drive on every day as every 10 feet there was a speed bump. Parking is around $10 a day, which I guess isn't that bad considering any money you're saving by not staying in San Juan.

As for the room....Very simple. Cheap. The carpet was obviously moldy with some spots sporting an off orange color. The TV was an older bulk TV, but they had a lot of channels to choose from which was nice. The bathrooms were very outdated. Our shower head a 3 single streams. Thats it. No adjustments could be made. The cabinets in the bathroom were fitted with rusted over handles. There was 2 pillows on one bed and 1 pillow on the other bed.... I don't know why. The glass door that led to the balcony had a broken lock, but a nice view. We stayed for 5 days and the maid never replenished our shampoo or soap supply.

The private beach is covered in seaweed, you have to venture out near the waves and current to get to a coral or rock bed to see any underwater life.

Overall, I would NOT recommend this hotel unless you are NOT a picky traveler and you are on a serious budget. If the area looks appealing to you, stay at the Embassy Suites, Im assuming their rooms are a lot better.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank travelcrazy744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
luisnazario2004, General Manager at Golden Sands Villas, responded to this review, December 6, 2012
First and Foremost i want to thank you for taking the time in writting this review. Reviews such as this one helps us to be better as a hotel and company. It is delightful to here that our Front desk staff created an impact in your stay. We are in the process of making upgrades to our villas. If you give us another chance, i am sure that you will see the changes and we will meet your expectations. Thank you once again and i truley hope in hearing from you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hialeah
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 20, 2012

giant pool bar , right on the beach, just in town you would think you are in miami , lots of american buisnesses and resturants , just west a nice mall with theaters , i didn`t see that awful traffic i heard about , the staff was very nice , there a few hotels here together and the casino is right near the front door , we went to dorado beach at night which has some food bars and plenty of regaton , , i was amazed i came here and almost nobody speaks spanish , got back to miami and nobody speaks english , i will continue to return as often as possible , room was huge , ac ice cold

Room Tip: try to get facing the beach , snorkeling is great here
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank joe o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
luisnazario2004, General Manager at Golden Sands Villas, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Thank you so much for staying with us.. It was a pleasure to serve you..
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Providence, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2012

I loved the hotel.everyone was extremely polite n loved there job. The hotel is awesome, if I had choose this hotel as soon as I arrived to Puerto Rico I wouldn't have left. They have it all from beautiful air conditioned rooms to casinos, beach, pool, bars, restuarants...music....I mean everything. I can't wait to go back next year. Its perfect for honeymoons as well as a family retreat...

Room Tip: The connecting suites
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank lac0l0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
luisnazario2004, General Manager at Golden Sands Villas, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
Thank you for staying with us. See you soon..
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SF Bay Area
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2012

So many mixed reviews of this property, and I am glad I decided to stay here, even with the negative reviews in mind. It all comes down to your expectations. I would never have guessed, based on other reviews, that there was a world-class golf course on-site, and a more than adequate casino as well. The grounds, including the adjacent Embassy Suites, are well-maintained. There is a separate entrance for the Golden Sands Villas, and convenient parking ($10+tax/night) and a gated entrance to the parking lot. In the six nights we were there, never was there a problem locating parking. The directions on the hotel's website are your best bet for finding the place, although even with them and Google Maps on my phone it was still difficult to find. Make sure you take the highway bypass of 693 to get there and not go through town, or you will take forever to find the place as we did. Also, the sign says the Embassy Suites more prominently (and also the Aquarius Vacation Club, and little mention of the Golden Sands) so look for those signs when you turn into the main entrance off of 693.

We booked a two-room villa for just two people, and it was huge! The second room could be locked off and rented as a one-bedroom villa, which probably would have still been more than enough room. The kitchen could use some additional amenities, including a wine opener (we left ours behind for the next guest) and some pots and pans. A nice treat was the washer and dryer in the unit, which came with a small box of detergent (not that we did but two loads before going home, why waste precious vacation time doing laundry?!). One of the rooms in the two-bedroom villa had a giant jetted soaking tub; I was sad I only had time to use it once! Additionally, this room had a large glass shower in a separate bathroom area. The blackout curtains were nice as well -- lots of good rest was had! There is daily housekeeping, and towels are replaced, as are the small toiletries replenished as needed.

There are several restaurants on site, and the golf course restaurant offers a good breakfast at a reasonable rate. The pool bar has some good cocktails, but they are definitely resort-priced.

If you're looking to stay here, make sure you have a car, as anything outside of the resort is not within walking distance.

The casino onsite was nice, if you like that kind of thing (I do!) and the staff there was pleasant.

The rooms do not offer Wi-Fi, but the lobby does have free Wi-Fi, so every night it was a party in the lobby with at least seven or so vacationers using it! It is extremely slow Wi-Fi, but allowed me to catch up on some things while away.

Bottom line, I would recommend this place if you're looking for something outside of San Juan.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank B P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
luisnazario2004, General Manager at Golden Sands Villas, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
It was a pleasure to serve you. See you again..
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Golden Sands Villas

Property: Golden Sands Villas
Address: 201 Dorado Del Mar Boulevard, Dorado 00646, Puerto Rico
Location: Caribbean > Puerto Rico > Dorado
Amenities:
Beach Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Dorado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 77
Also Known As:
Golden Sands Villas Hotel Dorado

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