Stayed the week of March 8-15 and overall we were pretty happy with everything. However, a warning to those going for March Break: on our second last day, a ridiculous swarm of high schoolers came down for a grad trip, multiplying the wait time at the bar by tenfold and the [--] factor by a million-fold. Although there is some humour to be found in watching high school guys try to pick up. Prior to this invasion, you only had to wait a minute or not at all to get a drink.
My only beef with the Grand Paradise is that you can't get a drink there after 12:45 - you have to go to a local bar or club. Most nights it wasn't an issue, but it can be a real buzzkill for those nights where you're looking to have some fun. Kind of weak for a place that's supposed to be all-inclusive.
Food was pretty great, plus we booked three a la carte meals (restaurants essentially) for extra classiness. Service can be slow at times, but nothing too terrible. Maid was great, refills your mini fridge with water and coke every day and did a great job. We tipped a few bucks every day, not sure if that makes a difference in the quality.
We booked through itravel2000.com which was great because they had "price drop protection." Sure enough, the price dropped substantially about a month after we booked, so we each got about $150 back after putting in a price drop application. No other websites I saw offered this perk, plus all the prices for the resorts are the same across all websites, so there's no reason not to book here.
We went on two excursions - a waterfall tour and whitewater rafting. Whatever you do, DO NOT book through the resort. Go to the mall across the street or even buy them from people on the beach. Prices at the resort are twice as much. We got to go on both excursions for $88 US each, including getting a bit of the price knocked down since we booked multiple excursions. I thought that was a pretty sweet deal considering white water rafting was the most expensive excursion offered. Only downside was that the rafting was a two-hour bus ride each way.
There is a casino at the resort, which I made my way to on a couple of occasions. I played blackjack, but I wish the casino had a betting house so I could bet my life savings on lines like "no one will smile at you the entire time" or "the person sitting next to you will have absolutely no idea how to play blackjack." I think the T-1000 had more personality than some of the dealers. Casinos are usually fun, but this one just had a really bad vibe to it. Avoid.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Puerto Plata is a very nice place, even if the actual city is somewhat impoverished. Grand Paradise earns four out of five Bazingas. However, their bar closing times earn a SQUADOOSH!
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Hotel Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Club Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Resort Casino
- Paradise Beach Puerto Plata
- Paradise Beach Club Casino
- Grand Paradise Playa Dorada Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata