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Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

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Thunder Bay, Ontario
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Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

Hey DR officianados!

Just thought I'd share a few tid bits from our second trip to Republica Dominicana.

Going back this year was fun in that it was familiar, but still new since we are staying at the Gran Ventana which was new to us; it seemed surreal to see DR again. lol

We did meet some of the hotel staff from the Victoria there and we were so happy too see them!

I have to say I am just as impressed, if not more with the GV as I was with the Victoria last year. High standards of care are given to maintenance and cleanliness of the facility and grounds. The buildings themselves provide amazing amounts of quiet even when a show is going on in the main pool area at night. Revellers and those seeking peace seem to be able to coexist quite well, and most noise ceases at around 11pm. Problems seem to be addressed quickly. The staff works very hard from the front desk to the wait staff to the maids.

The food gives a very good variety with quite a few healthy choices. Being vegetarian cuts down on my options, but it's been fine.

We've had great weather for the past week and a bit, with only some rain at night. It's actually raining now as I type...lol. It's quite lovely.

Though we did not get the larger junior suite we wanted (the hotel is booke to capacity) we decided we really like our third floor room with a beach view. You can hear the surf at night, as well as all the insect sounds and beautiful birds in the morning. The size is plenty big, and the comfy king sized mattress is comfortable. A couple of tips: bringing a few hangers is great. I learned that last year. I like to hang some wet clothes on them out on the balcony. I do it on the backs of the plastic chairs, so they are not really visible since they don't want eveyone hanging clothes all over so that it looks like a tenament building...lol. The second tip which I passed on to my bro before he came is to bring a nightlight for the bathroom at night to avoid having to turn the exhaust fan on with the light. It can be loud and wake sleepers. I wish I had one this time!

I've been out birding some without seeing anything new from last year. There is this one bird though that calls while it is still dark out in the morning. It's driving me nuts trying to figure out what it is. Some sort of nighthawk or nightjar?

There seem to be lots of visitors this year...the beach is busy, but not too crowded.

We've been to Orange Market west of our hotel and there's lots of selling going on there. They vendors seem to be a bit less aggressive in approach which makes it more enjoyable. My brother who is also with us this year is a hoot to watch haggle. We actually had fun haggling and so did the vendor...lol. I bought a cool towell with a map of DR, and my sister in law bought one of those explosively colourful dresses...so lovely!

I have done some shopping in the plaza. Though prices can be high for some things...don't by sunscreen there, they aren't bad for other things. My husband Ray got the nicest swim trunks ever at the Oggi shop upstairs, for a very reasonable price. I also bought a beautiful original painting at a different shop. There's a small larimar shop upstairs too where the man makes a lot of the jewellery there. He has good prices too. I'll have to post the name later, since I've forgotten.

Being right on the beach has been great! We sure swim a lot more this time and I already have a decent tan...lol. My husband actually tried snorkelling this year and discovered he really liked it! You can buy a mask and snorkel set in the hotel lobby store for about 600 pesos which I thought was a pretty good price, so I got Ray his own set. I usually bring mine from home.

So far, we did try eating at the Ocean Grill on the beach...it was pretty good. I had the surf and turf, without the turf. The shrimps were good. I'm hoping to try the other two restaurants, but you really do have to reserve ASAP to get seats for them.

Though I'm not big into the activities, they seem pretty good and people enjoy them. There's dancers, karaoke nights, a Micheal Jackson impersonator night, and Miss Gran Ventana.

My only complaint which was the same as last year is the internet. I don't think it would be that difficult to have the wireless accesible in the rooms with a few more repeaters and routers. Also, 6 dollars an hours is excessive to me. I think they could improve on this!! The internet itself is pretty good and strong in the lobby and restaurant.

Since we did a lot of excursions last year, this year was geared more to relaxing and visiting with friends we made last year. I visited my friend Carolina's family and will go out to her boyfriend's grandparents home on the farm in the country. It's an experience to experience their lifestyle.

Our big outing this year will be to Samana to see the whales. I'll let you know how that goes.

Ok, I'm long winded as usual. Let me know if you have any questions! We stay another week and a half.

God Bless, Arlette

Milford, Connecticut
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1. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

Thanks for the review, I will be there 4/11-4/18. Its so funny to see how many reviews differ. I'm sure its mostly what a person makes of it.

halifax
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1,080 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

tiger I couldn t agree more!! I think your age has something to do with it ??? The Gv has some of the best food I ve ever had in the DR o r Cuba in 16 straight years. Perhaps a first time traveller that thinks they are going to the Sheraton could disagree with that but not anyone that has any experience in The DR. The ala carts are great IMHO. Dancing, towel games and noisy/friendly or in friendly guests is just the luck of the draw changes week to week. As for the sellers they are no problem at all..pass the time of day with them, they ll be on thier way before you :) The GV is super clean, well managed and VERY service oriented. I would do ANYTHING to be back there right now!! Have a great time!!

Thunder Bay, Ontario
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3. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

Thanks for your comments Tiger and Halifax. I agree that the traveller's attitude can make or break their experience, and there's not guarantee what other type of guests will be there. I've experienced some very rude guests during my various travels. I'm more of a lover of peace and quiet, but I realize that some people are here to kick back and have some fun. So far, none have crossed the line to unbearable.

I hope you have a fantastic time here Tigerjohn. Oh, and check out Jame's booth on the first floor of the plaza for great excursions at good prices, and the money exchange there. Here's Jame's website https:/…home-1

I just wanted to add to the above post that we are in the Catalina building, room 2316. The third floor is great, quiet with a great view. My brother and stepdad are in the Saona building on the second and third floors rooms 1234 and 1333. They have great views of the beach as well, and the rooms are quiet. If other guests slam their doors, you can hear that, but I've not experienced it often.

As for the larimar shop in the Oggi Plaza, it's on the second floor and the owner's name is Alberto Rosario. His jewellery is beautiful and fairly reasonable in price.

You just wouldn't believe what I bought today while everyone else was buying lovely light beach wear...I happened upon a most beautiful, wooly sweater...yes, you read correctly, a sweater. It was in the Oggi store on the second floor of the plaza. It will be perfect for our Canadian winters :) It was so unique and the price was only $24 US. It would probably cost at least double that back home, if not more. I said I would wear it on the beach with my bikini...lol.

Wednesday, we are going to Ocean World in Cofresi. We are going to do the dolphin encounter. I think it will be fun.

Ok, Hasta luego! God Bless, Arlette

halifax
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4. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

love the 3rd floor catilina our room last 2 yrs 2306:) great view at night!! enjoy your stay!

Milford, Connecticut
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5. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

thanks for the advice and review, i will email the resort two weeks before i go and try for those buildings and upper levels...., one question...do they have double beds or king size? prefer a king size, its our 1 year wedding aniversary..whatever will be fine. think only thing that would sort of bum me out is alot of rain..but i don't expect that in middle of april, rainy season starts in may ...

Carleton Place...
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6. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

Hi Arlette, great to hear you saw familiar faces from the Victoria. Who did you see...Marisol, Anna, Felix, Fernando, Miguel?

Cordebo

Pine Hill, New...
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7. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

What is the dress code in the evening for men at the buffet and a la carts restaurants.

Pine Hill, New...
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195 posts
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8. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

What is the dress code in the evening for men at the buffet and a la carts restaurants.

halifax
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9. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

tiger ask for your bed preference whne you send your room request, I m not 100% sure there are any rooms other than suites with King beds but maybe someone else can address that.

Jackie the dress code is definately long pants.....I have always worn my sandels with that and had no problem. Most like to dress up for the evening!

Milford, Connecticut
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10. Re: Trip Report from Gran Ventana!

thanks halifax...will do...