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“Some great staff, some bad, all in all ok”

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Grand Paradise Playa Dorada
Ranked #8 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Some great staff, some bad, all in all ok”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2011

We flew out with Thomas Crook, the flight was uncomfortable and long. Me, my 14 year old daughter and her boyfriend.
Upon arrival we were checked into a room overlooking a helipad with no view as such. We had been booked for an ocean view room only to be told on arrival there were none available. The room was basic, 2 king sized beds and a shower room.

We were not advised that the hotel would be full of locals on the weekends. (we arrived on a saturday afternoon) we felt very intimidated and extremely uncomfortable due to this.
The food on offer was great, apart from michaelangelos, the cheese they use over there was vile. Edens Grill was fantastic, the buffet was outstanding.
The majority of staff were helpful and friendly. The beach was clean with an abundance of sun loungers.
The hotel grounds were clean and well kept and redecorating was being undertaken during our stay.
The Sinners barstaff were great fun, we made our way through the various cocktails on offer, one of the guys thought he was Tom Cruise but by night he is a priest.
The entertainement staff were off their heads on cocaine more often than not. We were offered drugs on many occasions, what they don't tell you is that if you are found in possesion of any drug, you face a minimum of 6 months in a dominican prison. We of course declined as drugs aren't our thing.
The room service was diabolical, we were only provided with 2 clean towels a day and were constantly having to ask for more towels which didn't always arrive. The bedding was only changed twice during our 2 week stay. We also had no toilet paper for 3 days as this wasn't topped up either. There was a lack of warm/hot water too. Our drinks fridge wasn't restocked daily as promised either. The patio doors onto the balcony were faulty and didn't always lock although the staff tried their best to remedy this. Our air conditioning packed up and it took 3 days for them to try to fix it, which they couldn't manage.
The attitudes of the reception staff is very unhelpful.

Having read other reviews on here I would like to state that on one occasion we mistakenly left our safe unlocked and the safe door wide open, there was a considerable amount of cash, 2 blackberry phones, an iphone, an ipod and our passports, my car and house keys and other personal belongings in there, the maids had been in and cleaned the room and the stuff in the safe remained untouched. I guess we were very lucky!

We spent alot of our time on the beach and in the sea or on excursions.
There are a team of some 40+ beach sellers offering a wide range of products, they hassle and hassle you until you agree to buy something from them.
There is a beach hut that plays music and offers activities such as snorkelling, banana boat rides, kayaking, catermaran and parasailing, these are all at an extra cost, the guys that run the hut are friendly, a bit too friendly, if you are a single lady as i am then they take a real shine to you and even propose marriage, One in particular wouldn't leave me alone, he is called Augusto.
Be careful health wise as HIV is rife in the dominican.

The hotel is well situated, 100 metres or so to the plaza, a small shopping complex that sells a variety of gifts, clothing, alcohol, toiletries etc. There are several excursion sellers too that hassle you to book trips through them, they are not all registered with Tourismo and don't all have the required papers and insurance.
We booked all our trips through a lovely american guy called James who has a flash office at the plaza, we spent a fair amount of time with James and he let us use his internet as the hotels internet wasn't working. We tried pizza hut one evening in the plaza, it is around the same price as it is in the UK although the quality of food isn't as good as the UK.

Despite the few niggles we enjoyed our stay and met some great people. I wouldn't say the hotel should be a 5 star, more a 3-4 star.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Thank jellybellyjojo
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
Orangeville, Canada
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2011

A friend and I spent a week at the Grand Paradise at the end of January. The Animation Staff were fantastic and made you feel welcomed and made sure that you were having fun!
The buffet was a little bit repetitive but that's to be expected I would think.
Disco was a little small, but never overpacked and music was great!
I think at this resort, the fun is what you make of it. If you are an outgoing fun person - you will have a blast! If you want peace and quiet, you will get that as well :)
Night time entertainment left something to be desired.... not really all that good, except for the beach party which was great, but far too short.
Our bed was extremely comfortable, and the room was very clean - never saw any bugs or anything in there at all - and there was a fresh water jug in the fridge every day.
The beach was endless! Apparently the best beach in Playa Dorada and I believe it!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Kelly5538
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
106 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2011

The hotel itself is very nice and clean. The food was very good. Service was usually good but they forgot about us about a couple of times at the buffet restaurant and at lunch at the Edo and we had to get our own beer at the bar afterwards. We didn't like the time sharing hassling and it seemed that everywhere we went on the resort or the beach the time sharing sellers were out hassling everyone. We were having a drink one day and the people at the table next to us were being hassled so they moved to another table. The beach is endless and very clean. The whirlpool is cold and we didn't try the pool as we prefer the ocean. The disco was small, music was good but only a few teeny boppers there. All in all it is a nice place to stay but the time sharing people bother us. There is a mall nearby and I recommend that you buy your cigarettes from them and not the shop in the resort as they charge you double. The sellers love American money but want to give you your change in pesos.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Ravenhawk39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA and NYC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 January 2011

Check in was easy. Our room was very good. We had a suite (2 separate rooms - living room and bed room) facing the tennis court. The room was upgraded and better then expected. The A/C worked great and we had hot water when it wasn't during busy time. Another times, it was warm but still good. Luckily our room was facing the tennis court because if you where near the pool area/beach area, it gets loud at night because of the entertainment.

FOOD - the food is definitely average to sub-par. We mostly ate at the buffet since you had to make RSVP by 1pm everyday for the two restaurants they had (italian and steakhouse).It was ok to eat but by the last day, we are tired of eating it. Don't get me wrong, in my opinion, for the price you get to stay at this resort, the food they had was to be expected. The staff where busy bees trying to get everyone drinks and tables turned over as quickly as possible. I never had a problem getting a drink within 5 minutes from the servers. We also always had silverware despite the reviews we read. We ate once at the steakhouse and had the pork chops. It was good but salty. All their food is salty FYI.

BEACH AND EXTRA EXCURSIONS BOOKINGS - The beach was great! We didnt have a problem getting a lounge chairs at any time. Yes there are people who approach you to buy things but once you said no, they left you alone. The non-motrized sports equipment where up to date and the people who handle the equipment are very friendly.
BEWARE: do not book any excursions with "SEA PRO DIVERS." They are the excursion people near the buffet/kiddie pool area as well as where you get your non-motorized sports. They are a rip off and the owner could care less about you. My friend and I booked two excursions with them. One was jet skiing which we did. They friend go a lot of salt water in her eyes and she was having a hard time seeing the rest of the night. We had another excursion the next day. We went to their little desk area the same day to cancel the snorkeling because there was no way my friend would be able to go. There was no one at the desk and again the next day, there weren't there. This is not to mention it took us 4 hours before we could even do the jet skiing because no one was at the desk (The hotel had to track them down to get us out jet skiing!). After we finally got to talk to the boss about canceling our snorkeling trip, he refused even though the guy who sold us the trip was refundable with a 24 hour notice. He was unprofessional and cocky. If you want to book excursions, I'd recommend going to the playa dorado plaza which is 2 minutes walking from the hotel and booking there. They have a lot of vendors to choose from and great deals! We booked a Buggy adventure safaris and it was AWESOME! Everyone was professional and I saved $20 from Sea Pro Drivers - the hotel excursion people. Also, if you looking to stay close to the hotel, visit the playa dorado plaza and see a movie in english for $6 us dollars!

WHERE TO BUY SOUVENIRS AND SAVE - i'd recommending buying them at the Playa Dorado Plaza (2 minutes walk from Hotel) vs the flea market or going into the city center. After bargining with flea market/city centre shops, the price is the same as the Playa Dorado Plaza. Its crazy how much they hike the prices up just to bargain it down to a place 2 minutes away from the hotel! This also included postcards and stamps. At the flea market/city centre they quoted me a price of 2 postcard for $1 us dollar. I tried to bargain and get 4 for $1 us dollar. they said no. Then I said 3 for $1 us dollar. they said no and I walked away. You can get a postcard for 14 pesos at the Playa Dorado Plaza. Its cheaper even if its only a few cents. Bottom line, whatever your need is, it is cheaper at the plaza this including sun tan lotions to candy.

Casino - The casino was fun, but watch out for the black jack tables. Make sure you say even money if the dealer is showing an ace and you have black jack. They don't tell you, you have that option! Also, if you pay $5 us dollars and get a blackjack, they do not have $2.50 chips, so you have to win twice in a row to collect the $2.50! The casino is small with 2 black jack tables, a few slots, a texas hold em table, two roulette table and carribean stud. They tables dont open till 8pm every night. The slots open at 4pm. The casino closes at 3am or when they are no one guest.

INTERNET SERVICE - The internet is up to par. The speed was good. You have to pay for internet. It is $3 for half an hour or $5 for an hour. That is it - there are no other options. The only areas to access internet is the lobby and poolside. At the poolside on the second floor they do provide computers if you didn't bring your laptop.

All in all - we had a fun time, but havent decided if we would return. Maybe if they make their food better, I would definitely return! The food was the downfall of this place.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tren2414
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2011

FYI - We are 'newbie' vacationers and did not know what to expect. We were VERY pleased with Grand Paradise and felt it was excellent 'bang for the buck'. We would return: Gorgeous beaches, wonderful scenery, limited restaurants but food was fairly good and you ate out by the amazing beach. Service not so good, had to ask repeatedly for water/wine and generally grabbed our own cutlery/napkins and drinks. Rooms were quite nice: small bathroom but updated, good + bed and TV/coffee maker with balcony overlooking the ocean and clean with no bugs anywhere. Limited dresser space for clothes and *no bolt lock on the door*. Staff tended to knock and 'barge' in (needed a 'privacy' sign). TV was not working and was promptly fixed. Just had to be firm with timeshare guys/beach vendors. Felt very safe in this gaited community. Bought excursions off the beach and they were great!
Not a party resort, entertainment wasn't very good.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank NewbieTraveller13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2011

Pool is cold always and very small. Pool bar is always in the shade and too cold to sit there. Food is ok but not great. Beach is amazing and very clean. The service at all eating places is very slow to none. The room we had was good but we did upgrade to a suite, well recommend. I have travelled a lot to the islands and this is just ok not great. Lots of kids if that's what your looking for. Great weather all week. I personally would not pick this hotel to go back too. Half the time the shows at night never happened. The one's that did were not worth seeing. Jan 20th -27th

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mrroll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2011

Prior to visiting Grand Paradise Playa Dorada I was a bit concerned because I read reviews on tripadviser stating that people had been robbed at this resort. Of course I took it with a grain of salt assuming that their are always complainers who relish in drama. But I arrived at this resort just last week and experienced the same thing, the hotel staff were of no help at all, stating that I could go to the police station myself and file a complait, not something one wants to do on vacation. Someone had come into my room and stolen my daughters iTouch, nice, and according to the security staff the only person entering my room was the maid. So my advise to anyone going there, please make sure u lock up all your belongings in the safe even if you think your stuff is safe, it isn't . Of course this ruined my vacation, I had a lot of trouble enjoying myself after this event. The placement of the resort of gorgeous, but the hotel itself definately doesn't rate as a 4.5 star I would give it a 3 at best. The food left a lot to be desired, and the staff ignored you a lot of the time, I guess u had to tip to get quick service. The entertainment staff were nice, but a bit annoying constanlty using a mic and speaking inconherently most of the time. There were also a lot of heavy drinkers around the pool at all times which made it difficult to relax there. The resort was supposed to have been renovated in 2008 but looked run down. Rooms were kept clean, but the security issue made things difficult for me while staying there. I hadn't been to Puerto Plata for over ten years and was not impressed at all, it really is run down now. I would definately choose Punta Cana if I were going to Dominican again.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank islandhopperToronto
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 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#7 On the Beach 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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