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Hotel Beach House Playa Dorada
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692 - 697 of 1,450 reviews
Reviewed 3 January 2010

When we first got their at 11.00pm at night. Checked in and staff brought me a drink after joked about wanting a beer. Thought that was really nice. Great check in, but the first room was terrible. No air conditioning and room smelled like mold. Complained but did not get moved till next day. Next room was great but the tub and sink where clogged. Moved once again. But got a bigger room with a balcony. Was great considering we where travelling with our teenagers. Had a place to chill together. The food was OK but not so fussy on that type of food. Husband like it the most. My boys got a little sick, but only for a day. They had alot of fun going out at night with other teenagers on the resort. The staff was awesome and the entertain staff was amazing. Coco loco, paparazzi, Ronaldo, Rosita and the best one of all Junior. Always friendly and wanted to make you laugh. We all enjoyed him very much. The staff at the buffet was great and in the alacar restaurant. The maids where very helpful. All in all we had a awesome time and the weather was good. The beach was nice the water a little dirty. The under tow very strong, have to be careful. The pool was awesome, very clean. Would recommend this if you want a 3, 4 star experience..

The fitness center was not good, the machines where broken and no air conditioning, the tennis was good and they had lots of board game and the entertainment staff always had fun games to play on the beach and at the pool.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank Amber839
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2009

Dec 22-30 2009:
Very nice place, clean rooms( although minimal furniture) , friendly staff, good entertainment , nice beach on your doorsteps.
Grounds very nice and well kept , entertainment crew engaing the vacationers all the time. Security throughout. Lots of inclusive things to do: gym, tennis, mini put, valleyball, dance lessons, water sports,warm jacuzzi .... Spa. Phones did not work.
Drinks: not too many choices.
Food: a big problem:
Unfortunately most vacationers developed stomach flu and could not enjoy their vacations. It sucks when you are sick beacuse of the poor food handling by the resort. Management did not acnowledge the problem even though there were many people complaining about getting gastrointestinal sickness.

Went twice for deep see fishing and did not catch anything !! Everyone on the boat was very disapointed. ( you should pay no more that $55 for 1/2 day, otherwise you overpaying. Negotiate or go to a different agent, they are all funneled to a few boats, but you are waisting you money if you catch nothing. Take Gravol as many on my boat got motion sickness )
Bargain on everything or go to another agent! On our horeback riding excursion through the mountain, in our group some people paid $70 and some $35 for the same thing.
Same with things you buy: prices vary by 200%, be smart and check thing out in few places and low-ball everything.
Did not like many loud locals staying in this resort and taking over.
EM Toronto, Canada

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank T0rontonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2009

We booked our Christmas trip to Celuisma in the Playa Dorada Complex through Air Canada Vacations. We chose the hotel for its beachfront location in the village of about 20 or so hotels, as well as for its holiday time value, being a family of 4.
We arrived at 1pm, and as check in is at 3, the helpful front desk woman directed us toward the buffet or bar while our rooms were prepared. We had anticipated this, so we had packed sun wear in the side pockets of our suitcases and our new friend at the bell desk, Guillermo, suggested we use the luggage room to change! We weren’t hungry so by the pool we met our outstanding barman, Victoriano, who throughout the week, always had a cold drink and a smile for us for us! From here we walked to the ocean where we saw the beautiful beach and mountain vista. It was not crowded or overrun with souvenir salesmen, which we have found on some of our other 4 trips to Puerto Plata (incl. Sosua + Cabarete). You could take long walks in either direction, which is something we enjoy. There are loads of beach chairs and palapas to stay out of the sun under, and even several really lovely canopy beds to lounge on, super cool! The beach is beautiful.
When we were shown to our suites (by Guillermo in the little shuttle), we were thrilled to find they were in the building 18 directly on the beach. They were clean and spacious, good water pressure in the shower (!) and fine air con. Our family that came from another city didn’t get the suite they booked, however were quickly moved and happy.

Other reviews: everyone has their own experience and outlook is important. You are visiting another country and it may not have the same offerings as hotels at home. We are happy to get away and try to see the positive in all situations. We enjoy reading good reviews and try to ignore negative ones. We heard some visitors complaining while we were here, and we really didn’t encounter any of their troubles. We had a great time.

Food: At breakfast there is a variety of choices ~ fruit, cheese, sliced meats, cereal, many breads and buns, yogurt with a selection of toppings, the steam table of warm dishes, fresh fruit smoothies, and of course our fave, the happiest egg guy we’d ever met, who would cook your eggs any way, fried, scrambled, boiled (3-5-8min) or make an omelette from the ingredients you put into a bowl. At lunch we found there was always something at the buffet or for a change there was an assortment at the beach bar. The seafood soup offered one time was outstanding. (our bartender at the beach was also fabulously friendly and efficient!) Dinner at the buffet always had a special extra you could find in the back by the pasta guy, who cooked where egg-man had done your eggs in the morning! For instance, grilled chicken, oysters on half shell, fajitas (you put together yourself) shrimp, roasted pork etc. I read reviews complaining about repetitive food, here and at other resorts. We did not find this so here or elsewhere.
Of the 3 a la carte restaurants (reservations) we visited the Caribbean and Mexican ones, both excellent. (faves at each were seafood casserole, more like an awesome soup, and the intricately spiced fish, respectively) Our waitress was delightful and when the boys chose to have a chimichanga, she smiled and said while doing a little dance, “you mean a chi-mi-chan-ga!” ;)

Excursions: as this was our 5th trip to this area we didn’t go on any, however we heard good things about the safari, (dune)buggy, and horseback riding trips. In the past, our visit to the Brugal rum factory was great fun.
The gym was the nicest I’ve seen with operating equipment, treadmills, ellipticals etc and free weights. Activities included morning stretching, aerobics (some in pool) volleyball, basketball etc.

I saved the best for last…
Animation: the team at this hotel are outstanding! They never stop ~ smiling, dancing, offering games, lessons (Spanish + dancing) and REALLY entertaining you. They are all very talented and well suited for their jobs, unbelievably friendly. We unfortunately experienced some rainy periods during our stay and these people worked doubly hard to make you enjoy your stay as the guests were concentrated in the covered areas around the pool. Their spontaneity and fun make them all charming. In the evenings we enjoyed the dancing by the pool area and you can really see the time and effort put into compiling the big shows. WOW can these people move!
We made true friends here, Coco Loco, Scooby, Junior, Gary and everyone else… thanks so much for being so much fun.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank Gillian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2009

My friends and I stayed here from Dec 19-26 and we were all so sad to return back to Canada that we even considerd prolonging our stay!! We were 3 ladies (age 27-32) with our father/uncle (age 71!) We all had a great time even though it rained (more like torrential down-pour) for half of out stay!! The resort is absolutely beautiful and kept very clean. Rooms were average. In both rooms we used the fridge didn't work and the phone didn't work in the one room but they come and fix it when you tell the front desk. We missed a wake-up call one morning because the phone didn't work so for the remainder of the wake-up calls we requested that they knock on our door if we didn't answer the phone.

We were a little dissapointed when we first arrived (on a Saturday) because the entertainment at night was in Spanish only and we didn't understand it. This was because the resort was filled with mostly locals. I was also thinking that we might not meet people cause none of us speak Spanish and we were worried that we'd be surrounded by only spanish speaking guests for a week. Sure, enough, when the weekend ended, locals clearned out and English speaking guests began to arrive and the shows were presented in English after that (along with Spanish, French, German, etc... basically whatever language was in the audience.) One point about the locals at the resort is that they are very aggressive at the bar! It's probably cultural but it was quite annoying when us Canadians would be waiting our turn at the bar and the locals would show up behind us a be served first! I must make a point of mentioning David the night bartender at the lobby. He took care of us all week and was VERY good to us. There were other great bartenders as well (ie: Eddy) and some not-so-good bartenders. You find the one you like, give him a nice tip here and there and you'll be taken care of all week!

Be very careful booking excursions on the beach. If you book with them and it gets canceled due to weather they do not contact you (even though they have your room number.) So they keep your money unless you are as persistant as I am and chase them down for you money. I told the front desk that if I did not receive my $ back from one guy I had booked with on the beach by the end of the day, I would be contacting the police. Within 30 minutes he was there in the lobby with his boss and my money. The day before I had even seen him on the beach to ask for my $ back and he woudn't give it to me, telling me that I had to contact the company - meanwhile the company never answered the phone and they didn't have an answering machine. Specifically, DON'T BOOK on the beach with GREGORIO ALMONTE from RANCHO NORTERNO (4 hour horseback riding - and keep in mind that this resort offers 1/2 hour of free horseback riding - enquire at the front desk.) You're better off booking excursions with the guy in the lobby of Celuisma even though you might pay $5-10 more dollars. Although, I do have to mention that Nelson, on the beach, did give us a good price for the Cataraman but it would have been nice if he had called us to cancel when the trip was cancelled 2 days in a row (the second day being sunny.) We were up at the break of dawn to walk half an hour down the beach only to find out when we arrived that they had cancelled it because the water was too murky from the previous day's rain (not sure if that was the real reason though cause there were other catamarans heading out from other companies that day!??!) Regardless, Nelson was very pleasant and did give my my full refund when I saw him on the beach the next day. I don't think that the cancelation was his fault.

We paid $10 each to ride the banana boat one day - absolutely NOT WORTH IT unless the water is completely calm. He only had us out for 10 min max and most of the time we spend dumped in the water. 6 people on the banana boat means he made $60 in 10 minutes. They should close the banana boat when the water is rough so that guests don't feel like they are being robbed of their money.

The beach at this resort is absolutely beautiful. For 3 full days of out stay it poured and alot of garbage, weeds and branches were washed ashore. On the day it was finally sunny they were out there cleaning it all up and by lunch the beach was beautiful again. We stayed at Bluebay in the Playa Dorada complex in Aug 2008 and we did like the beach at Celuisma resort better. There is a beach bar to get drinks and a snack bar there as well (open from about 11am to 6pm) I'm not a fast food eatere but my friends enjoyed the food there and I had the pizza there which was REALLy delicious especially if you like it loaded with cheese!

The food in the buffet was good (not as good as Bluebay which is listed as a 4 star and more expensive to go too.) But, overall we enjoyed the food and the dinner the had for Christmas eve was FABULOUS!! The a-la-cartes were okay but we prefered the buffet. We ate at the Mexican and Italian and both were good. It was nice to get dressed up and enjoy a nice meal where you are served. But, we did like the convenience of the buffet being able to pick from a variety of things.

The rooms in this resort were average. We stayes in complex 11 and 12 in basic rooms (one with 2 single beds and one with a king size bed.) Our room in 12 was fine and we had a nice garden view out the back. The room in 12 was okay - door had to be slammed shut, fridge and phone didn't work upon arrival and air-conditioning was working on and off. They are good at coming to fix things though as long as you're okay with "Dominican time!! lol Meaning, everything in the Domincan is late! lol

Nightly entertainment was okay (better at Bluebay - although Bluebay is adult only so they only catered to adults and the shows were REALLY funny there.) The animation team work REALLY HARD all day and night to make guests comfortable and happy. They do the best they can with what they're provided with. Because they are so friendly and full of energy they help to bring guests together to have a good time. It makes it easier to meet people too. When it rained for 3 days straight they had games during the day and socialized with everyone to keep them happy. They even played card games, etc with us if we invited them and showed us card tricks, etc... On the first rainy day I grabbed some tables that were still out in the pouring rain and brought them into the lobby to dry off and they right away come to help! We have no complaints about any of the animation team and would like to mention a few members who stood out the most (because of their energy, generosity and overall abilty to socialize with guests and involve them.) Keep an eye out for Scooby Doo (Ronell), Junior, Coco Loco (Antonio) and Paparazzi. They will make your stay memorable and help you to have a good time. There were some female entertainers that stand out in our minds as well but it's hard to keep track of names after just a week!! I must say that the dance show on Christmas Day in the evening was phenomenal and I hope they put that show on for guests even when it's not a holiday. Although, I didn't like that we had to sit inside a stuffy, moldy smelling hall to see it. The weather was finally nice and it would have been nice to enjoy it outdoors. We really enjoyed the nightly band and the little kids show/dance (mini disco) they do before the show starts was great for the kids.

Front desk is generally friendly and helpful. Thank you to Orlando, Johnny, Ernesto and Carolina for always being there for us, helping us out and providing us with information. Wait staff are great as well. Our father/uncle was always offered his red wine with luch and dinner which he can't live without. This was one of the first all-inclusives where I actually got served drinks regularly at the buffet. Usually, at other resorts, I've had to go and help myself to water, juice etc.. Even people behind the scenes are helpful. Thank you to Raphael, the electrician, who helped us out with something one late night at 3 in the morning!

I'm hoping that the next time I return to Celuisma that they have new bikes. Their bikes are in horrible condition (rusty, very uncomfortable, mine had no brakes, etc..) I even considered walking over to Bluebay to ask if we could borrow their bikes!!

Overall, we had a blast at this resort, and would return provided the price is good. The things I look for at an all-inclusive are a nice beach, nice grounds, and good animation teams. We definately had this at Celuisma. I plan on re-booking for 2 weeks in the summer and will keep an eye out for good prices at resorts in Playa Dorada. I would return to Bluebay and Celuisma, and wouldn't hesitate to try another resort there as well. It's a great location - safely nestled into a gated complex with shopping, golf, clubs, bars, beautiful gardens, a movie theatre and restuarants. I've been to Mexico, 3 areas of Cuba, Margharita Island, Bahamas and Dominican and so far Puerto Plata, Domincan is my favourite location overall.

Feel free to e-mail me any questions you might have about this resort, Bluebay or this location in general. Happy travels :)

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank lizziestoybox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2009

Me and my cousin (21 and 20) went to Celuisma dec.11-19th. This was my 2nd time in the DR, the first time i stayed at Grand Paradise in the playa dorada,and my cousins first time. and it was awesome! I read many reviews on this website before we left and i wasnt too sure what to expect, but the resort was nice, awesome beach,awesome staff and basically we had no complaints!! Well my cousin did get sick the first few days, from not being used to the hot weather(she lives near Winnipeg) but after a few days she was ok! As soo as we were checking in we were greeted with drinks, rum & punch, which was my drink of choice all week! and our room wasnt ready yet as check in wasnt til 3pm and this was around 12:30, but the girl gave us the bracelet so we cud check out the resort and grab some drinks!
as soon as we sat down at the pool we were greeted by the entertainment staff, who are awesome by the way. Sooo friendly and go out of their way to make sure you have fun. Shout out to Eddy and Ronal, who were really fun and we became good friends with them. All the entertainment guys work from like 9am-11pm everyday and dont get a day off until after 2months of working. They always go to Coco Bongo like every night when their done their shift. So I would recommend going with them, so you get there safe, its like a 3min walk anyways! If youre a girl and you go to coco bongo, be careful. me and my cousin were like the only girls there, that werent locals, or hookers! So if a guy buys you a drink, go with them, and dont leave ur drink sitting unattended, same stuff you would do at your local bar! just take extra caution here cuz you never know! We had a blast at coco bongo though..good music and it was always packed. Oh but def drink as much as you can at your resort, for free! i got a rum and coke at coco bongo and it cost me $10 american!
The food was pretty good, i am kinda pickey so i usually ate the same thing everyday haha. the beach has a grill and everyday from 12-3 they make hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, etc.and from 3-6 pizza. so if you spend the day at the beach and dont feel like putting on clothes to go to the buffet, its perfect! or if you've had a few too many drinks and dont feel like moving off the lounge chair! haha
Like i said before, staff is awesome. wherever you go you will always hear a HOLA! whether its from a maid, landscaper, or even another guest. everyone is always super friendly. it was hard leaving to come back home, i def. miss saying HOLA AMIGO and pretty much everything else about the DR!
My sister and her husband, a local whom she met when her and I went to DR earlier in the year, took us out into town a few times which was awesome. Hung out at the boulevard the first night, and they always drove us back to playa dorada. Being in town was really cool, very different then what were used too, but i found it very interesting. yes, if youre a girl and in town, you will get yelled at(in a good way!), basically, you'll get hit on a lot, but we just went along with it, youre on vacation have fun with it!!
i had brought some toys down with me to give to the local kids, and it made my heart melt when i handed them out, I gave some playdough and a football to my sister and brother in laws neighbour, and he was soo excited. i will def. do that again next time i go down there.
The rooms were nice, we had a balcony which was sweet. our phone didnt work in our first room and we didnt really care, but my sister, who always make sure she gets ur moneys worth called the front desk and made them give us a new room. so they did and the room was the excact same. except the phone worked haha. oh and if you have an issue with anything, go to the Guest Service desk, they are super helpful and speak very good english. when my cousin was sick they made sure she got to the clinic in the playa dorada, and afterwards they kept asking if she was ok. oh and if you need to call home, get a calling card from the Market store($10 US) and use the guest service phone so you dont get charged for using your room phone(30 pasos/minute). also, i used my credit card to call home once, using the room phone, after i got home checked my account and that phone call home, $45 charge to my credit card!!! so i would just buy a calling card at home and bring it with you! IF you must call home. I wish i hadn't!
Long story short my cousin and I had a great 8 days and of course it just flew by. Weather was awesome, got a nice tan, although it fades SO fast when you get home, and we made lots of friends. If i had enough $ i would def. go back to this resort, or any on the playa dorada and go on march break. i am even planning to fly down there when exams are done to stay with my sister and bro in law.
I hope this review helps and just email me if you have any questions! Thanks!!

  • Stayed: December 2009
    • Value
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Thank brittney28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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