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“Spring Break” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Paradise Playa Dorada

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Ranked #8 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Coquitlam, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Spring Break”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 April 2010

I stayed at the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada during the March break this year (25-31). I travelled with 200 other highschool students under a grad-trip company called S-trip. S
-trip provided chaperones for the students. As for a comment by another visitor, which alluded that the high-school students were not "paying" guests. We actually paid extra to cover the costs of the S-trip chaperones.

The room my friends and I stayed in, was very roomy and pretty nice. We were happy with it and did not need to change rooms. The only problem was that ours did not have a phone. The maids were very nice people and I recommend tipping - not only because a couple dollars can go a long way for them, but also because of the extra attention your room will receive, loaded with extra water and pop bottles. Even things like new school supplies are appreciated as tip. Tipping also helps your priority at the bar.

I can't say I liked the buffet much, the food was pretty repetitive and in some cases just not good. However some of the food could be great. Make sure to try the fajitas and Jamaican chicken (when they have it). I've heard Michaelangelo's was very good, but make sure to reserve a table a couple days in advance. I did not know this at the time, and therefore did not have the chance to try it.

The beach is very nice and the sand is white and very fine. There isn't much for shade, but sunscreen and sunglasses are all you really need. I never burnt once. The pool is also nice, again little shade. There is a swim up bar, a pool-side bar, and pool tables and foosball tables right near the pool. There are also computers that you can "rent" for a half hour or an hour, but the internet connection is so slow that to send one email takes about the full half-hour.

There were some family members of the Dominican workers that stayed in some of the rooms (empty ones I think) for a couple nights, which was fine by me. They we not an inconvenience in any way.

Lastly, make sure to do excursions! Five of us signed up for a day of scuba-diving off Sosua beach, (one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen) about 30 minutes drive from the resort. It was amazing, the best part of my trip. If you are an inexperienced surfer (as I am) I wouldn't reccomend the surfing, the waves are rough and the boards they give you are small. But that doesn't mean there aren't other things that might catch your interest. Make sure to try a couple (they're cheap).

Overall, would I reccomend this resort? It depends who is thinking of going. To families and older people, I don't think I'd reccomend it. I can imagine the noise we caused there must have been agitating at times to these groups. To teenagers and people in their twenties, yes I would recommend it. It is a fun resort, but of course it is what you make of it, right?

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Angela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Nova Scotia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 April 2010

Visit date: March 29-Apr. 5. 2010 - Weather Sunshine 28-34 degrees - one day showers. In reading recent reviews of Grand Paradise, I find it extremely difficult to believe that some of these folks visited the same resort as we did!. We have lots of great pics.
Warning, my review is long but worth the read. Our room was perfect and cleaned to perfection every day. We are very particular, especially when it comes to the bathroom. Our bed was only a double but had a clean, pillowtop mattress and comfy pillows. Slept like babies every night. I have back problems and was concerned about the bed. Very comfy! Fresh sheets and towels daily. Air worked fine. Heavy blind on patio door if needed to keep the room dark/cool. Balcony had tinted glass on the railing for extra protection from the sun and was also scrubbed daily.
Main buffet and snack bar situated right on the beach. Amazing sunset view with dinner and the sounds of the ocean served with every meal you had there. Food was always fresh, plentiful, with lots of options. Fish, chicken, steak (cooked to your liking), omlettes, veggies, fresh fruit, cold drinks, hot drinks, and much more. Our only problem was trying to decide what to choose. Buffet fully cleaned between sittings. Staff worked hard and bent over backwards to serve everyone, constantly refilling coffee cups, water glasses, keeping empty plates cleaned up. They were extremely polite and accomodating in every way even when dealing with those who were rude and inconsiderate . Snack bar open when buffet was being cleaned and prepared for the next sitting. They served, salad fixins, fresh, hot fries, chicken, burgers, pizza, dogs, sausage, breads, hot and cold beverages. Public washrooms on the resort were kept clean and always had soap and toweling available (this isn't the case elsewhere).
We get up very early and the pool crews were up and cleaning the pools when we awoke. Our room overlooked this area so we watched them every morning while we had our coffee on our balcony. Coffee & fresh watered replenished in our room every day. The gardeners worked none stop, trimming, cleaning the grounds. They were all pleasant and polite. Security was always visible, patrolling the resort. We heard from time share folks that security had been beefed up during the month of March as the spring breakers were extremely bad this year. We got to experience some of this our first day/night at the resort. These kids were loud, rude and very inconsiderate to the other guests at the resort. Sad, but some of our Canadian students I'm sure will not remember their stay at this wonderful resort. Security did their best to contain these kdis without being to harsh. I'm surprised some were not thrown off the resort but I guess the staff a the hotel were keeping the safety of these kids in mind. Seeing what we saw and talking to other workers from resorts in the Playa dorado Complex, we would never book a vacation south during the month of March.
Time Share Prospectors/Beach Vendors - yes, they are there. Remember, these folks are just trying to make a living. We were firm in telling them that were were not interested and they went away. We were disappointed with the orange market. Same stuff available at the mall just a 5 minute walk away for less money. Ladies, be sure to check out the clothing store upstairs at the mall. Excellent prices.
Flight with Canjet was great, although our Nolitours rep Johnathan wasn't much help (we lost our safe key at the Jasmine Spa). However, hotel staff were attentive to the issue and worked hard to resolve the problem as quickly as they could. If possible. do a day at the Jasmine Spa, it was wonderful, well worth every penny. The day tour to Santo Domingo is a great tour, lots of history but far to long a day (14 hrs) for us. 7.5 hrs was on the bus. We chatted with lots of visitors that week and people were feeling much the same way as we did, the resort exceeded expectations in every way possible. Of course there were a few grumps sitting around the pool all week talking about what negative comments they could post on trip advisor when they got home, Get off your butts, get a life and enjoy your vacation folks! Lots of music, dance lessons and pool activity, beach party on the weekend, show was great, yeah you had to show up early to get a good seat. We loved the feel of a smaller resort & the buffet on the beach. There were alot of Dominican's on the resort for the Easter wkend, Yes, they vacation to. Some had saved long and hard for this one vacation weekend of the year. Believe me they were having a good time (Easter is a big wkend for them) but were pleasant, polite and much more considerate of others than the springbreakers. Negative comments are few...drinks a bit watered down (just ask for less pop/more rum, no problem). Dairy products, though plentiful are not as tasty as ours (cows eat different feed than ours), OJ a bit watered down, so what! We couldn't have ask for more and would return in a heartbeat! 10 of 10 for me!

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CatInTheSun49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, WI
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2010

This trip was well worth my money and I must say, this place is what you make of it. The beach and sea were absolutely beautiful. The service was very good - food and drinks in the all inclusive were not spectacular, but were still good. The staff is what made this place so great. Get to know them! My group had great experiences with Droopy, My Baby, La Chispa, and Coca Cola Light (they pick nick-names I suppose). These guys/girls went out of there way to make our trip really memorable - they helped us get into the city and showed us around a bit, hung out with us after hours, and were just generally really friendly and fun all day. The resort has a lot of planned activities that allow you to get involved and have lots of fun in between lounging about on the beach. Take advantage!

Additional Note: We were a group of 10 around the ages of 20-24 just as an FYI.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank syazi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2010

I stayed at Grand Paradise and loved it. The staff where very friendly and the food was great.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank blondieapril
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2010

This resort do not deserves any stars. It failed in any and all categories one would expect from a vacation.
From the moment we checked in, we were not welcomed. Our specified 2 double beds(and paid for) reservations were not honored, we were given only 1 double bed, and were told to pay additional money if we wanted 2 beds, disregarding what was stated in our reservation.
As we arrived late at night, we settled for what was given to us. The next day we talked to the representatives, and met with disinterest and dismisal. They were not interested to solve the problem.

We rented a Safe Deposit Box for our valuable, and on our 3rd day ALL our money, valuable, Blackberry were stolen from our safe. Yes, the Safe was broken into. We informed Security and management, they did nothing. We filed a report for an investigation, and were lead to believe that this was going on. In fact, no one did anything. They just put up a "show" and at end told us that nothing could be done. No one wanted to get involved, or be accounted for any corruption that was going on.
Incidentally, we were not the only one that things got stolen from. In fact, during our week stay, numerous theft have occured, including break in into the room in the middle of the night.
Please be advised, this resort hotel is very unsafe. Even the safe box is unsafe.

The service in this resort is none existent. The staff at the front desk are not welcoming, not helpful, nor accomodating to any request you may have.
When you dine, you are on your own, good luck finding utensils, or cups for drinks. Once you find any, no one would come to your table even for water. You would have to chase the waiters, who are running around, but do not pay attention to the guests.
The plates were piling on our table, no one came to remove them. All around people were shouting, kids running around... Definitely not an ambiance that is condusive to an enjoyable meal.

The hotel does not have a Gym, even though their brochure clearly states they have one.
In conclusion, we would advise you to cross the Grand Paradise from your consideration, as this is not going to be a vacation you would enjoy on any level. Most of all, the staff don't care about you, what happens to you, weather you enjoy your stay or not. We felt neglected, unsafe, and left on our own when emergency occured.
Sadly, while talking to many other guests, they all expressed the same opinion.

We have been around the world in numerous hotels and resort. This by far is the worst place I have ever been to.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Worldly01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Puerto Plata hotels

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2010

This was my first time to Grand Paradise as I was here on a timeshare. The rooms were average, the food was average and the service was below average. They water down all of the liquor including their own Dominican rum, Brugal. I was harassed every day to go to a presentation even though I was already a timeshare member so the employee could "get his commission".
Coco Bongo's is very close and was the most fun of the whole trip. Pizza Hut is close as well in case you don't like the hotel food. The entertainment was good and the overnight staff was excellent. They will probably mess your room up when you check-in just like everyone else has stated. Overall, the hotel has lots of potential but just average at best right now.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank candijay45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 April 2010

We stayed at this resort for one horrible week. We were with friends and everything started when trying to get a room took 3 hours to get one that most everything worked. The first room they gave us had not TV or coffee machine (both were advertised) the patio door did not lock and the AC did not work. They gave us another room and cancelled the access card before we even got to try it so we were running around the resort thinking we had the wrong room number (don't send anyone to tell us, just let is wonder around) Room number 3 was at least habitable since by this point we were tired, hungry and had been moved away from our friends, we started right beside them but got moved and didn't even have a phone to call them. Room 3 had no phone at all and after 3 days of asking we gave up.

This was not the worst, there were 200 high school students, aged 17 and 18 and they did and were allowed to run the resort. They dominated the pool and swim up bar. They didn't even leave the pool to relieve themselves after hours of drinking, yuck...
They ran up and down the corridors at all hours of the night banging on doors and yelling back and forth. You waited forever at the bars since they always were 3-4 deep and didn't leave to have their drinks but stayed there ordering, drinking, ordering more. The bar put up signs limiting only 2 drinks at a time so you had to make 2 trips and wait over again.
The food was not good. It was the same stuff over and over again. There was no variety. You were supposed to have wine at dinner and lunch which we did but it was watered down. Being an adult I think I can drink my wine full strength. Not sure if this was done for the sake of the kids or not but sure was not appreciated. Even the OJ at breakfast was watered down (we actually watched them add water to both)
If having all the teens there wasn't enough the workers were allowed to bring in famiily and friends on the weekend and they did just that and they stayed on the resort all weekend. Now you not only had to wait to be served after the kids but now the locals were served first and as well dominated the activites. No longer did the animation team speak in english, french and spainish but it quickly became spainish only, move over white people. There was a beach party on the weekend and if you were 18 or dominican you could see since the remainder of us paying guests were sitting in the chairs provided for us but I guess you were supposed to stand in front of anyone you could and keep pushing and shoving until you were right up front.
I have done alot of travelling and this was my 6th time in this area of the Dominican so I knew what to expect but this was anything but the worst experience I have ever had in my 10 years of travelling. It might not mean anything to others that my vacation was ruined but it sure does to me. I will never go back to any resort in this area. It seems they can not do anything about young people disturbing your rest and in fact made it clear that they carried alot of weight since there was so many of them. The resort was supposed to have under gone a million dollars in renovations but it sure doesn't show. the pool was filthy with garbage and debris and we saw them vacuum it once in a week. The floor in our room was so dirty your feet actually stuck to it in spots and the bathroom sink was never cleaned by the maid the entire stay we were there. Thank god we clean up after ourselves. When I stay in 3 star I expect 3 star but this resort should be a minus rating from the staff to the grounds to the food. Never again...... My vacation was ruined and my hard earned vacation dollars gone. If you are thinking of going here, don't do it. you can stay any where else for the same dollar value and at least come home with some happy memories. The one thing this resort does have is a beautiful beach but there is absolutely no shade. No trees or huts at all for those no so eager sun worshippers.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank vacationjunky2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Paradise Playa Dorada

Property: Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Address: Complejo Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata 332, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Paradise Playa Dorada 3.5*
Number of rooms: 425
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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

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