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“Fantastic Vacation to the Gran Ventana!!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Labrador City, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fantastic Vacation to the Gran Ventana!!”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

Just got back from one of our best vacations. We spent one week at the Gran Ventana from Mar 28-Apr 4 2012. With two other friends. Traveled from Quebec City on Sunwing. We had a late departure arriving into DR early at 815pm. From getting luggage to check-in at the hotel was painless and very smooth. Greeted with Welcome drinks. Very pleasant!!

Id have to say that the only thing that went wrong the whole vacation was they wrote down the wront room number. We went to our room and couldnt get in. someone was in there. We called the front desk from our friends room and within 15 mins we were in our proper room.
Our room was HUGE!!! our friends were on the third floor with cathedral ceilings. It was a corner room in the quiet building which is a little futher than the main building. But not far... a little stroll was nice!!

The area around our building was very nice. There was a bar by the quiet pool (very quiet) and kept very nice and clean. They were up early every morning cleaning the pool.

Rooms: Very nice and clean. Never seen a bug. Some things are dated but you can tell that they are trying to bring things up to standards. Nothing happens overnight!! The beds are firm but comfy. Slept well. Bar was stocked daily and the bed always had a little design. We left our maid a couple dollars every day. One thing that we were un aware of is that you have to go to the cashier to get your lock for the room safe. Its 16$ for the week. The air conditioner was surprisingly quiet and worked very well. No issues.

Food: DELICIOUS! There is nothing bad I can say.
Breakfast was great. Sausages were yummy. You can have your eggs fried or done in an omlete with what ever you want in it, We would take bacon from the buffet and crumble it in a bowl and fill it with other stuff at the omlete station. They were delicious. Scrambled were a bit wattery but nothing to complain about.

Lunch: We ate at both buffet and Ocean Grill with was burgers and stuff (for lunch) and it was fantastic. We really enjoyed the Ocean grill (down by the beach) They had chicken wraps, nachos, burgers, pizza, ect.... Very very good. The buffet was good too.

Supper: Buffet again not dissapointing. The A la Cartes were amazing.
We did the Octopus (seafood-mediteranian) was awsome. All four of us has the salmon. so yummy.. No complaints. Great experience.
We also did the Italian A la Carte. Cant remember the name of it but its by the quiet building. SOO delicious. All four of us had absolutly no complaints. Food and service was fantastic.
We had reservations for the Ocean Grill A la carte but didnt make it... (Who ever says the drinks are watered down must not be drinking enough... we got so drunk we couldnt make it to supper. :-0) But that was our last night there. I bet that resturant too was fantastic given how good it was for lunches.

Entertainment: THE HIGHLIGHT!!! We had so much fun with the animation guys!! They are wonderful! Always trying to get you up and doing something. If you didnt want to they didnt make you. We had nicknames from the first day we arrived. And they made time to speak to you every day!! We did water arobics (fun!) and volley ball. We played a few water games too. Bingo, darts, ping pong, and a few others!! Allot of fun!!
The nightly shows were outstanding. Something different everynight and we were always in stitches. My favorite show was `The Ideal Couple`. If you have seen it you know what Im talking about... Never laughed so hard in my life!!
Not only were the animation guys wonderful, all the staff there that work so hard to please you are always pleasant!! Everyone works so hard and dont get enough credit for what they do. We took time at the end of our trip to let each individual how much we apprciate the hard work they do to please us vacationers!!
Hats of too them all :) Especially Jose, Shaggy, Scooby, Alex.

Pool: The pool is great! one big main pool. With a gradual entrance, a semi shallow area and then a deep end. All meets in the middle at the pool bar!! They have daily drink specials and all of them are delicious. I wasnt fussy on the sangria but there were a few that made the hit list.
Yellow bird was a hit for the guys. and of course Pina Colada./Banana Momma. Dominican Love was a good favorite.

Beach: It was amazing how much work they do to keep the beach clean.. My husband went on a deep sea fishing excursion and was on the beach by 730 and it was all raked. So clean he couldnt believe it. Little bits of seaweed was up through out the day but nothing crazy. and cleaned up by the next morning to start your day with a fresh beach. the water was so nice...
The one downfall is there are those who approache you wanting you to look/buy their stuff. Some are a little pushy "its free to look" and some if you politly say "no thank you" they will continue on.
At the entrance to the beach/resort there are people there trying to sell you excursions. They sell them cheaper than the Tour reps but not sure that they are 100% safe. At ones own discretion if they want to book with them. They look legit but dont know for sure. I personally wouldnt.
** TIP: If you plan on a walk on the beach.. be on the look out for the Lifestyle guys that will approach you and ask you if you want a tour of their beautiful resort. We got sucked in not knowing what we were getting into. If you dont tell them your not interested it could lead to a 3-4 hr presentation and 3-4 hrs your losing of your vacation in the sun. They are selling something like timeshares.

Excursions: We didnt really do any, as we have been there before and done excursions before. Most about relaxing and having fun. The guys did go Deep sea fishing and the downfall is that its hit or miss. Unfortunatly it was miss. The girls me and my friend went and took in a massage at the spa at the Casa Calonial. OMG. What a spot. The bell boy takes you there and from the minute you arrive you are like royalty. The resort is heavenly.
We had the deep tissue massage and it was the best I have ever had. Amazing!!
It was $94 for 50 minutes. Little expensive but worth it.
One excursion we have done before was the Outback Safari!! By far worth every penney.

Overall: would recommend this resort in a heartbeat. The majority are ages 40-65 range. Good varierty of perople. Great entertainment and great food. No free Wifi but when your on vacation, you dont need it!!! Your vacation will be what you make of it. Remember that DR is still a third world country. But these people are working hard to please you. Be grateful and show them your appreciation.

Any questions I will be glad to help answer them!!!

Room Tip: Worth the extra to upgrade. We didnt see the standard room but we were very happy with ours and we u...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank labradoriantravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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montreal canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 April 2012

back from 2 weeks at gran ventana nice place beach is good food is also good rooms are clean but not a 4 star but a good 3.5 star do not stay in bulding 3 unless you don't want to sleep ...near buy COCO BONGO bar open till 4am with very loud music.

Room Tip: don't stay in building 3
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank frankie0703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kamloops, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 April 2012

We just returned home from our first vacation to the Dominican Republic. We have been to Mexico a number of times and were a little worried to pick a resort in the Dominican without having been there before. In the end, we made a great choice with the Gran Ventana!

Overall:

We really enjoyed our stay at the Gran Ventana and would definitely go back again. The resort is very well maintained. Nice pool. Awesome beach. No lineups at the bars. Delicious variety of drinks! Great food.

Food:

I was really impressed with the food at this resort. We stayed at a 5-star in Mexico last year with an enormous buffet and I thought the Gran Ventana's buffet was a little small when we first arrived; HOWEVER, I changed my mind about that quickly. A lot of the food at the buffet is different each day, which gave us good variety. Of course, the staples remain for each meal such as rice and potatoes, but they're cooked a little differently for some variety. A small variety of pasta at each lunch and dinner (all the pasta sauces were sooooo good)! Smoothie station at breakfast was awesome. One of the people we travelled with is vegetarian and doesn't eat eggs, but she left each meal full and satisfied, as did I.

Rooms:

The rooms are clean and big, and we had comfortable sleeps each night. The bathroom in our room was a bit old looking and could use a renovation, but it was clean and served its purpose.

Additional information:

*There are people selling jewellry on the beach. It can be a bit annoying, but they're very nice. We talked to a couple who told us to offer half the amount quoted for something by the guys on the beach. Once you offer half, you can then move up a bit from there. We bargained a bit for the ring I bought, but overall we didn't mind paying close to the asking price. The people are so poor compared to the way we live here in Canada, so we didn't feel the need to bargain away the seller's commission. We feel these people work so hard and they deserve any tips or extra money we can afford.

**Porters in white shirts will try to take your bags at the airport and then ask for tips after they've rolled your bags 5 feet. Do not give them your suitcases, no matter how pushy they are. I said no thanks, but he insisted and then wouldn't walk away from us until we gave him a tip. It can be a bit confusing because at first I thought they were part of Nolitours. Just remember white shirts which say "Volunteer Porters" on the back, or something like that.

***Bring a larger water bottle/insulated cup so can fill it up with water or drinks and not have to go to the bar for refills so often.

Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank TasteSeeker1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 April 2012

Was torn between giving the resort a 3 or 4 but going with the 3. Do a similar trip annually and have to say this resort was nice but doesn’t stand out or compare to other ones we’ve recently gone to in Punta Cana or Jamaica.
Hotel is about 20 min from the airport. Taxis to/from are $35. Not sure how much shuttles would have been but was nice to just jump right in to a taxi and not have to wait for anyone else or make any stops. Taxi back to the airport was easy as they have cab stand in the front of the complex so they can get you cab in 2 min. Porters at the airport were annoying as they will grab your bag to get you a short distance and then expect a tip. Hang on to your bags tight or just go with it.
Check in is at 3 and they rarely get you in before. So have your bathing suit ready if you get there early so you can grab a bite or sit by the pool while you wait for your room. The bellhop was nice and will hold your bags both on arrival and the day of checkout. They also brought some welcome drinks once we arrived.
Hotel is fairly small. We stayed in Sueno, 3rd floor facing a nice courtyard/ocean (most rooms aren’t ocean view as you have trees blocking the view between rooms and the ocean) We actually liked the beds as they were on the firm side but the pillows could’ve been nicer. Rooms were nice, updated with flat screen tv, strong ac. (water pressure is low but not a big deal at all)
Pool was just ok, very small but had a swim up bar which is nice. There was a volley ball court in the center of the pool which was nice but as the pool was already small it took up quite a bit of the area. (also be prepared for stray balls coming at you). It is a family hotel so there were a lot of kids and teenagers jumping in/splashing strangers/yelling/etc. so it was not a relaxing scene at all. But this may just be due to the time of year we went. They did have a quiet pool but it was a little walk away and we didn’t check out other then when we 1st checked in and it was 3 very old couples with no music. Would’ve been nice to have a happy middle.
Beach was also ok. But we already went in expecting the beach to not be as nice as Punta Canas. Best to spend the first half of the day at the beach & the 2nd half by the pool. They clean up the seaweed 1st thing in the morning so the water is nice but by the afternoon the seaweed gathers up quite a bit plus it gets very windy. Be prepared to play the chair game which if frustrating especially as we liked to be the 1st people actually lying out on the beach but still had to go out earlier to get an umbrella. But if you don’t want an umbrella then you won’t have a problem getting chairs by the beach or the pool.
Food was really good. Buffet offered good selection and we never seemed to get lines that you get at the larger resorts. Breakfast omelet bar was nice and moved quickly and they had good selection of meats to go on the side. Lunch also had something tasty as the meat seemed to be fresh, moist and soft (be sure and try the bbq ribs and roasted chick). Dinner was also nice with some good selections and great desserts. As far as the specialty restaurants would put them in order of excellent of Seafood and then Italian and the Dominican as Very Good. Dress code for men is long pants, collared shirt (polos are ok) and shoes although nice leather sandals were allowed.
People mentioned bringing drink mugs. Did come in handy in the morning if you wanted to take coffee to go but drinks from the bar were standard size so didn’t see the need to bring this around all day unless you’re looking to do some serious drinking. Never waiting more than a min for a drink. Each bartender poors differently and they usually go on the light side but if you wanted a stronger drink you only have to ask.
There weren’t many activities. Have been to other resorts where they have lots of activities planned throughout the day to keep you entertained and go out of their way to post scheds. Only saw 2 or 3 scheduled activities. They have a couple of pool tables and a ping pong table. Gym seemed ok, small but there didn’t seem to be anyone in there. And you can get snorkel/goggles by the beach.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank nyccowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

I just returned from the VH Gran Ventana Resort and had a wonderful time. The resort is smaller than some other resorts that we have stayed at but the rooms and grounds were very well kept. Beach was nice and I found the food to be great with lots of variety. Booking the ala carte restaurants was not a problem even for a large group of us. The service in the restaurants was excellant. The nightly entertainment was a little boring and not very good. The bar shuts down at midnight but there is a nightclub called Coco Bongo and a sports bar down the road for those who want to stay up a little later. Overall this was a great spot for the price.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank KimLoader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poughkeepsie, New York
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2012

My wife, my 6 yr-old and I just returned from DR late last night. Let me start with my rating... I had done some homework before we left and got exactly what we expected from an all-inclusive resort that was more than reasonable. We were looking for sunshine on the cheap and that's what we got. In the 8 days we were there, we NEVER left the compound! The grounds are beautiful, the staff is friendly and accommodating and the food at the buffet is adequete; the food at the 3 restaurants is excellent. I drank the El Presidente the whole week and never had a headache... and that's when we started at 0-beer-thirty! The room is dated but clean. The beach and pool are the central attractions and they did not disappoint. We made great friends from the UK and Canada. My son was quite upset when we left but will have lifetime penpals! The only con to the hotel (and it would be hard to police) is the "towel game" at both the pool and beach, but even this did not ruin our stay. All in all, if you are looking for a cheap all-inclusive place to go, I would recommend the Gran Ventana.

Room Tip: If you need quiet, stay by the quiet pool. If you can handle a little bit of noise, stay at the back...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brian T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2012 via mobile

My husband and I just returned from our vacation at Gran Ventana. We were originally booked at Lifestyles, but after reading all of the terrible reviews on Trip Advisor, we changed our reservations and chose Gran Ventana (because of all the positive reviews). I'll start with the pro's. The resort itself is beautiful. The grounds are immaculate and the staff work very hard to keep it that way. Our room was very clean and beds and pillows were comfortable. Maids cleaned our room, restocked our fridge and replenished towels every day. We would leave the maids $3-$4 every day, depending on how many $1 bills we had on hand. It was kind of funny that on the days we left $3, the bed would be made normally. On the days we left $4, our bed would be made, turned down, and a flower would be left on the pillow~It is ALL about tipping here. Another plus about this resort is the location. A short walk will bring you to many shops offering anything you could need or want. There is a nice restaurant/bar there called Hemingways that we visited a few times (good food and drinks). The resort is also close to town and close to the airport. So... Now for the cons. First and foremost...the food. We dreaded every meal. The scrambled eggs sit in so much liquid that they are served with a slotted spoon to "strain" them. The sausage and bacon taste nothing like sausage or bacon. The orange "juice" is not juice at all. Tastes like Tang. No such thing as butter there~ just some nasty tasteing margarine. For lunch....OMG! One bite of my burger and I had to spit it out. It was that bad. Pizza was not gross, but certainly not good. There were some mystery deli meats? offered. We hoped for better in the "specialty restaurants". The first two we tried were so bad, that we gave up our reservation for the third one and ate elsewhere, off the resort. Drinks were another huge disappointment. ALL they serve on this resort is Dominican's low-shelf brand. No brand liquor AT ALL! I hope you like Dominican Presidente Beer, because that is the ONLY beer you will get here. (my husband did say it wasn't bad). Drinks are definitely watered down. I could drink all day on the beach and still pass a sobriety test. Oh... One more thing. At the airport, the porters insist on taking your luggage from you, even if you only need to walk 5 feet with it. Then they put their hand out and tell you "Me like American dollars". I would advise you to stay away from The Orange Market. That was s c a r y!! You will see all these Dominican men begging you to enter their small shacks to buy their wares. They try to take your hand to bring you in. Anything they are selling is peddled on the beach all day, every day anyways. Another annoyance! Get ready for the onslaught of Dominicans begging you to buy something as you are trying to relax on the beach. It goes on ALL day. On our 5th day there, at breakfast, my husband said, "This is the first vacation in my lifetime, that I'm actually looking forward to getting home". I laughed and said, "Oh my God, I was just thinking the same thing!" The food was THAT bad! So anyways, I have read MANY positive reviews on this resort, so I guess, to each their own. Just felt the need to let others know of our experience at Gran Ventana.

Stayed March 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank oceanlover124
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 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Luxury 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 Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, TravelUp, Priceline, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and getaroom.com 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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