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“Great stay at the Gran Ventana!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great stay at the Gran Ventana!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 March 2011

I just got back from a week at the VH Gran Ventana and would highly recommend it.
The location was amazing, 15min from the airport, 5 mins from the Plaza, which included a little mall, a club "Coco Bongo" and a sports bar that played the hockey/sports games(which being from toronto, canada we loved!), and it was a 2 min walk from the beach. The Beach was so beautiful and clean. The nicest area of beach at Playa Dorada. If the beach is the reason for your vacation then you wont be disappointed here. The food wasn't the greatest, but there were lots of options, and the al e Carte "Ocean Grill" was good, I wish I had booked that every night. Our room was nice and clean, the maids were always moping and cleaning the hotel. There was a lot of security, I always felt safe and everyone was very friendly. The only downfall was that the beach had people selling jewelry etc and when you walked along the beach beyond the resort promoters from other resorts would try to get you to look at their resorts. But I would just smile and say "no thank you" and they would leave you alone. All and all I loved my vacation and cant wait to go back!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vmns
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
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

My husband and I just got home from the Gran Ventana Resort and we had an awesome time!! To sum things up, this hotel was great! The food was actually pretty decent and the a la carte restaurants were good too. The food at the buffet was always steaming hot and the drinks ice cold!! The hotel rooms could use some upgrading, but they were very clean. The staff are very helpful and friendly, and always cleaning. The beach is awesome and clean, the hotel really does have the best part of the beach and there is lots of beach to walk. What really made the week great was the availability of the beach and pool loungers. There was no pressure to get out as early as possible in the morning to get a lounger. You could take your time in the morning, get to the beach or pool at 11am, and there were still many loungers to chose from. Anyways, to sum things up, this was a great hotel. It's not a luxurious hotel, but it has everything you need for a great vacation!! We will definitely return in the future!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank beachbride26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax
Level Contributor
107 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

After sixteen trips to Playa Dorada this is my first time at this hotel, it is well worth the extra few dollars. Only Iberostar is better but it is isolated and the beach is not nearly as nice (although there are a lot fewer vendors).

Good points:

Although the menu became routine with very few new items (especially at lunch) the food was fresh and plentiful. As a salad lover it was nice to have veggies with natural flavour and not in some sort of "sauce". On certain evenings staff made side salads, once we even had smoked salmon and the cheese table was great..

Standard room was great, very clean and away from the noise by the pool and Paradise club. Previous reviews helped and we were in 2130.

Clean tables in the buffet were plentiful with cloth table cloths and napkins. Two large non smoking and one smoking sections were quite adequate. There was never a wait or hunt for a clean table.

Hotel staff were very pleasant and organized, most spoke English, many spoke French and also German. The front desk was exceptional with quick efficient service unless there was a long line from a new "bus". Bar staff were great, especially Louis at the upper pool bar who has been there for about fifteen years.

As usual the beach was great, some wind the first week did discourage some who stayed at the pool. There was always a lounge to be found, lots of shade at the beach any time but you must be out early to find an umbrella by the pool.

Coming from Ontario is was very pleasant to find ~80% of the guests speaking mainly English. Many come from the UK, east and west Canada, etc.. I have been to too many DR resorts in the past where it was difficult to find someone who could understand you.
Negatives:

The internet system is terrible and causes a lot of confusion and loss of guests time and money. You must buy by the half or hour and then log in. Once logged on if you end up with a "Spanish" keyboard it is very difficult to communicate as many regular keys do not type the same symbols. When you are logged on there is no indication of how much time you have left before your time runs out? Many inexperienced guests type emails until they get a notice that "hot mail can not connect". You have then lost your email and timed out.
The other problem is that people do not log out correctly and the next person uses their time or it just runs out?? Wireless internet is available for the same price and seems to work well. If communication is important to you it is well worth bringing your own (if you can keep it safe).

The beach vendors need to be more regulated, although they normally do not harass you there are so many that you can not go more than a couple of minutes without one passing by.

Room maid service is lacking, a couple of times we had to find one as our room had not been done and we also found that some maids had to cover twice as many rooms as they were short staffed.

Evening entertainment is sadly lacking, the same people doing the same dances, etc.. But after working the pool all day how much energy do they have left? Even changing the back drop once in a while would be an improvement.

Safety, one couple had their new video camera stolen at the show with wedding pictures, etc.. Do not leave valuables unattended, common sense.

From Friday to Sunday there does appear to be an influx of local Dominicans which tends to make the place crowded, and disturbs the routine..

Tours:

Wow, the buses actually arrive on time this year.

The cable car is fantastic if you get there early and on a clear day. It is part of one City tour. We booked with a guy in the Plaza this year, bit of a mistake, saved $20 but ended up walking all through Puerto Plata city in 90F, pollution, and many motor scooters. Only six of us with one French couple so everything had to be repeated twice. Also the fort is nice if you have not seen it yet. Not sure about the jewellery stops as they look a little sketchy. If you are interested in jewellery try the "Rainbow" upstairs in the local Plaza. I have delt with them for years, they do repairs, custom work and all at a very reasonable price.

Horse back riding (if you are into it), do not miss it as you get to visit the real Dominican.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BigBlue01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oshawa
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

First off if you havent been here you must go, we arrived on march 4th, travel from airport is about 20 minutes, check in was very quick , there were 8 of us in 4 rooms, 2 of the rooms were not ready as it was only noon when we arrived, no big deal, we dropped our luggage off in our friends room and went for lunch. i was amazed that there were very little bugs at this resort, and we did witness them fumagating certain areas during the night, they are always cleaning the resort, even first thing in the morning when they mop the entire front lobby and pool area, very clean.
Buffet was very good for breakfast, lunch and dinner, if you are a picky eater like myself you will have no issues eating at this resort. Sure the buffet has mostly the same food every night but they do make some changes as one night there was roast beef, other night they had turkey, roast chicken another night, pasta, hamburgers, pork chops are there every night. A La Cartes were great, italian food was great but we made the mistake of booking at 830 for the 8 of us, so it took 45 minutes to get a menu and 1 hour and 25 minutes to get our food, not fun eating at 10pm, other then that no complaints.

Rooms, we stayed at the Catalina building, room 2218, room was kept clean, no bugs at all, we had a view of the beach although it was a small view but we were opposite side of the pool and heard no noise during the night time, if you do just crank up the AC and noise is gone. Bed was hard but manageable, you get a balcony which was nice to go out on and just relax. If you need a safe which we did it will cost you $16 extra but well worth it.

Pools. what can i say about the pool other then it was great, nice and warm, tonnes of room, swim up bar, lots of chairs to relax on, volleyball net where there is usually a game going on, if you want a quiet pool there is one by the beata building.

Beach, the beach here is large with lots of chairs to relax on, if you want a good spot, go down at about 630 AM to reserve your spot. although they dont like you to put towels down to reserve chairs everyone does it. The vendors here are all around but a simple no thank you and they will leave you alone, however we bought stuff off of them, and you have to understand they are trying to make a living, you can bargain with them to get a better price, once you talk with them you will see they are great and very socialable, Ariel was selling jewelry and would always stop by to talk for 5 minutes with us even after we had purchased stuff from him. If you are looking for a deal on tours talk with Ceaser, we will get you a great deal if you bargain with him.

Entertainment, i cant understand why people keep saying the entertainment here was terrible as every night i would walk by the stage area and there was always 100 plus people there to watch it. They have karoake on fridays, they had a micheal jackson show on one night, and they have something different every night, during the day there is pool arobics, volleyball where staff will join in, they have other games to play if your into that.

Tips. We always left tips, and other stuff also, for the maids we would leave stuff which they could bring back to their kids, you wont here anyone ask for a tip at the resort, but it goes along way if you leave something

Tours, we did the city tour which we booked through Ceaser on the beach, he is at the entrance to the beach, we went to the rum factory, cigar shop, church, and the fort which costs an extra $3 per person to enter but was well worth the money.
Internet can be purchased at the front desk, also there is a store at the lobby, go there first to check prices and then go to the beach to bargain with those guys as you will get it cheaper from them, there is a small mall just outside the front gate, there is a restuarant there with big screen tvs to catch any game you might want to see, they also have a pizza hut in the mall.

we will definatly be going back to this resort as it was top notch mostly because of the people who work here, and because of the cleanliness of the resort

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank chuckles1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Altona, Mb
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2011

Great place to stay. Very Clean, good selection in the buffet, wine wasn't the greatest, awesome beach with snorkeling, long walks on either side of the resort along the beach, great beach bar and snacks. Only thing I didn't like was the really hard beds, and the beach vendors were getting a bit tiring to us after being there for two weeks. Most of them were friendly, the odd one a little pushy, but got a bit annoying having them come back time after time, even if you had purchased from them. Booked our excursion with Ceasar on the beach, less expensive than your tours through your vacation reps. We took a Jeep Jungle tour with waterfalls. Great staff there, but if your afraid of heights and climbing, wouldn't recommend it. Also if you take this tour make sure you have shoes on that aren't flip flops. They make you rent shoes for two dollars, and they leave blisters on your feet. Even a water shoe would be better than this or runners. No cameras allowed on this part of the excursion.They don't tell you that before you go on this excursion.

You can purchase a half hour of emailing for $3 U.S. with the resort

Nightlife Entertainment wasn't the greatest, but staff was still friendly. Like a lot of resorts, Mostly done by midnight.

Went there with husband, sister and brother in law. My husband and myself first time in Dominican, and would go back in a hearbeat.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CarolAltona_Mb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
1,034 reviews
102 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 403 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2011

I have been to the Dominican a number of times, to Samana last time, and now a return to Puerto Plata at the VH Gran Ventana. With two of my sons, 13 and 16. Completely and totally satisfied! Food is very good. Beach is lovely. Even the kids noticed how EVERYTHING is constantly being cleaned up. SO clean! Lots of fun to be had. Never feels busy. Reefs off the beach. Awesome staff. Something for all ages. Something for all levels of activity. All good. In a land of often unrealiable hotels, VH Gran Ventana is a total winner :-)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MaraFromToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Jerome, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2011

Two weeks passed by fast, especially when you are staying in a resort complex like the Vh Gran Ventana in Puerto Plata. It's a well designed play ground area with Great entertainment staff - one of the finest performing groups we have experienced. A pure joy to say the least, fun, fun, fun all around the clock. Some night I laugh so hard that it hurt my jaws, the wife and our friends were having the same issue.

The hotel is best situated on a beautiful sandy beach, the finest of all in Playa Dorada. Restaurants and food selection are quite good, no complaint there. Mattresses, a little stiff and in need of upgrading to keep up with competition. For any excursion deals, please look for Ceasar on the beach behind the hotel gate. We booked 3 trips with him and truly happy with the deals and the experiences. Golf is a little too pricy when you add Caddie fee and tip, but the course is charming with most holes are wide open fairway.
The locals are cool, calm and collected.

Our profound appreciation to all the friendly resort staff and until next time, all the bests.
Pretty (Jackie Chan)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PrettyMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

Property: VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, TravelUp, Traveltool, S.L.U., Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Gran Ventana Beach Hotel
Gran Ventana Dominican Republic
Gran Ventana Puerto Plata
Gran Ventana Beach Resort Puerto Plata
Hotel Gran Ventana Beach
Grand Ventana Beach Resort
Gran Ventana Hotel Dominican Republic
VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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