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“Gran Ventana - Great Vacation”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Stamford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Gran Ventana - Great Vacation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2013

Went on March 15th and stayed till 22nd - Nice Hotel in a nice location - Playa Dorada beach. We had a room on the 2nd floor facing the swimming pool in the main location (there is a hotel wing away from the main location - I would recommend it for people who prefer quiet and relaxing stay) - Did not find much fault with the hotel - awesome service, good food - beach was clean. Entertainment was ok. Did not try any a la carte restaurants as we felt contented with the buffet available. Beach was nice with brown but soft sand - Vendors will hound you but a simple "no thankyou" will be sufficient to keep most away. Felt safe walking on the beach with my wife though I heard from a Canadian girl that someone tried to molest her near the water sports shop in the beach(the shop is not part of the hotel as far as I know) but anyway asked her to let know the hotel management so that they will have the hotel security keep a close watch in that area. Medicines are expensive in the shop within the hotel - I suggest walking to the Playa Dorada mall to buy medicines if anything is needed. Spa closes early within the hotel but I suggest try out the spa in the mall for a massage and the cost is around $40 though you can get cheaper massage in Cabarete beach in spa or even in Playa Dorada beach if you walk further towards the Orange Flee Market.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank saran00us
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
Brampton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

Went on April 2. Short drive from the airport. Nice looking place, well decorated. Plenty of areas to sit and relax in and out of the sun. Bars are handy. A bit slow, so bring your 16 oz (+) mug. Most drinks were good and strong enough (if you want stronger, just ask). Especially pleased with very good red and white wine.The food at the buffet was great. Had bbq, roast chicken, pig roast, etc.different times during the week. Nice table settings-white table cloths and napkins. The A la cartes were even better. Our room was very nice (3rd floor) and had a skylight and balcony that faced the beach. Gardens in and around buildings are well kept. The pool could get a bit crowded, we always prefer the beach anyway. Lots of shade around trees if you want and plenty of loungers. Great when really hot with a nice breeze you don't get at the pool. Everthing is great at the beach-nice sand, long walks, clean warm shallow water, a coral reef. Then you have to deal with beach vendors. Prices are nuts but people still buy.You tune them out after a day or two. I still think there are way too many. Its OK, I get another beer at the handy beach bar/restaurant. There's more good food and that good wine there as well. The staff at the GV were always polite and helpful.There was a great mix of people, all ages from CAN, EUR, and US. This place was a couple of nocthes better than a more expensive place in Cuba. Overall, we had a nice relaxing week to recharge our batteries. We give this place 2 thumbs up!!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2013

This is our second time to the Gran Ventana.....at first we were disappointed with our room...3353 our view was not the greatest and the noise at night of the delivery trucks backing up was not pleasant, but the air conditioning was awesome. The food was delicious. The buffet has so much to choose from and the food is good. The Octupus Restaurant is a must and the Italian Restaurant was also delicious. We only did 5 days and 4 nights....for us not enough. The drinks were good, mojitos were to die for. The quiet pool was quiet and the bartenders at that pool were super nice. The beach was nice but not enough huts. Even though your not suppose to save them ppl do it anyway. Told one of the managers they need more. We did get eaten up by mosquitos so please bring some repellent. OUCH!!!! Would I go there again ABSOLUTELY!!!! Would definitely request a room closer to beach. Overall: had an awesome time.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rafael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trenton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 April 2013

We stayed at the Gran Ventana from March 18-25. It was an awesome trip. We had a junior suite on the third level so there were lots of stairs. We enjoyed the seclusion and sounds from the ocean which could be seen from our balcony. The staff were outstanding with very little of a language barrier. The grounds were immaculate. The food was good at the buffet, cant say great but my wife and I always found something we liked. The food at the A la Cartes was better than the buffet but still can’t give it a "great" rating.

The beach was brown sand but extremely soft and the beach was well maintained. We did have an issue with there not being enough palpas however there was an ample amount of shade to be found.

I see many people complaining about the vendors however as many of the reviews state a simple "no thank you" and they were on their way. People must understand that this is the way they make their living and feed their families.

Although there are many resorts around the VH, this was not a party resort. It was very quiet during the day and the evening festivities shut down at 1130pm on the nose every night. This was great if you were 80 years old however for people looking to party at night, this was an issue. Coco-Bongo was a night club at the end of the Puerto Plata Plaza. It was a 2 block walk away from the resort and was a happening place except that it was $6/beer. Please watch your change as I got completely ripped off on our first round at Coco-Bongos as they give you pesos for change and being a bit buzzed you are a bit slow at the conversion from US dollars to Pesos, they know that and try to take advantage as this happened to me twice but I caught it the second time. This is also an issue in the Plaza as well, watch your change!.

As for the excursions we did the Zip Lining. It was a great trip, really fun and interesting. The instructors were great and were extremely safety conscious. The monkey jungle was also part of the excursion and it was excellent with direct interaction with the monkeys. Watch the railings …there’s poop on them.

There is a flea market about a 20 min walk up the beach from the hotel with many different items, trinkets and clothing, basically, nothing you haven’t seen before if you are a traveler. If you have a taste for cigars, DONT buy them off the beach they are banana leaves mixed with cigar tobacco, I am a cigar person and I tried one on the beach and put it out after the first taste. Buy them from one of the many cigar or smoke shops in the plaza or in the resorts. There is an actual cigar shop in the plaza and the prices are only a couple of dollars difference from the vendors on the beach and contain no banana peels...lol. If I could make one suggestion to the hotel it would be that they keep the nightlife going later than 1130pm. People looked to be having a good time and to have them move to another place for the sake of a couple of hours of playing music that wasn't really disturbing to anyone anyways would be awesome.

All in all we had a great vacation and would not hesitate to return to this resort. It was well worth the money.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Reaper88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2013

I LOVE this place. Everything about the Gran ventana makes you feel relaxed. The pool area is perfect size, never have a problem getting a chair. Beach area is gorgeous with a reef to snorkel in right in front. We have seen many different types of fish and creatures there. The buffet can get repetitive but I usually switch from there and the beach snack buffet which has the best hamburger I've ever had! The a la cartes are amazing the octopus ribs are a favorite as is the italians lasagna . The drinks are great and plentiful, just like an AI should be! Looove the local rum! The entertainment is not Las Vegas style but then again, you aren't in Vegas! Its perfect for a fun night and they try really hard to make you have fun and laugh. We always have fun at the nightly entertainment, whether its karaoke or Mr Gran Ventana, Michael Jackson show, its always fun!
With the Playa Dorada complex right next door its nice to be able to walk over a pick up a few souvenirs, have lunch, get a presidente, or run to the ATM
The staff are amazing and always try to make you feel at home, the size of the resort allows them to remember you throughout your trip which I love.
Can't wait to go back in December!!

Room Tip: Catalina bldg if you like being by the pool and entertainment.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jaxsun10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgewater, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2013

We booked the VH Gran Ventana as a last minute getaway. The price was right, aerial photos of the property promised lots of room on the beach, and my husband wanted to go to a place we hadn't already been.
We are not flashy people---we tried the Bahia Principe complex in Punta Cana last year and did not enjoy ourselves. This year was our fifth trip South, and first to Puerto Plata. We loved it! The resort is small and we saw many complaints on Trip Advisor that it is tired or dated, but it was super clean and well-kept. We didn't find it tired---just comfortable and relaxed. It rained for 3 days and there were plenty of places to get in out of the weather and enjoy the beverages. I saw complaints of the drinks being watered down and don't really understand the problem. Either I'm a light-weight, or the amount of alcohol in my drinks was just fine. Even if they were watered down I'm a) not paying for them individually and can have all I want and b) probably saved from huge hangovers for the number of them I ingested!
We spent a great deal of time at the beach bar, getting in out of the weather and eating fried chicken and nachos while watching the rain come down. The wait staff was friendly and gave exceptional service---the best I've received in four trips to the Dominican Republic.
The beach vendors are plentiful, but it's true if you give them a polite no thank you, they move on. The beach was gorgeous and uncrowded. We didn't get there until 8 or so in the morning and didn't have any trouble getting chairs or a palapa. Tipping the young man who takes care of providing the chairs certainly helps. Tipping anyone on this resort got great service (though the service was already good) and not a single person made me feel as though a tip was expected. It was a pleasant place.
We liked the layout as well. It was compact, with a short walk between all amenities. We didn't stand in line for anything except check-in. There are also plenty of public washrooms throughout the complex and they were all clean. We could always find a chair at the beach, buffet, and either of the pools. Oh, and the Octopus restaurant was awesome. We didn't try the other two a la carts, but heard good things.
Truth be told, if we decide to travel next year, we just may look for a week this resort is offered for a good price and go back. It saves the agony of trying to find something we might like better than this. It was the perfect place for the two of us to spend a relaxing week away. It's 20 minutes from the airport and the airport is easy to navigate. All in all, we were just totally impressed by how much fun we had, how convenient everything was, how good the food was, and how comfortable we were there. If I cold book again to leave this weekend, we'd be off, but alas---a fella has to work to afford these things. :)

Room Tip: The Junior Suites are definitely larger than the Superior rooms. There are three buildings. Buildin...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Crys G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mississauga, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2013

I travelled to Gran Ventana (GV) from April 2 to 9 with my children (11/13) and my wife. I generally had a good time. I will try to break down the good, the bad and the ugly, objectively. Just kidding, no ugly.

Travel: CANJET/Nolitours/Ken Copps at Belair Travel were fantastic. No problems, coming back the flight left early and we got in early.

Staff and Service: They try hard to accommodation at the front desk, bartenders are hard workers and they were always pleasant. The service at the buffet was off and on. Tip accordingly.

ROOM: We had a third floor at the back and loved it. We don't spend a lot of time in the rooms, but the beds are hard. My wife brought her own pillow and was happy she did. The rooms facing the pool can get a lot of noise from the shows and general nightly activities.

FOOD: The buffet was good with a lot of options but it’s always difficult to please everyone. The meats and omelets were consistent. I ate lunch at the beach restaurant and it was good, especially the chicken. My family opted to go to the buffet.

RESTAURANTS: Reservations will drive you nuts, so book them as soon as you can. We only booked the Italian and Oceanfront. Both were great but atmosphere at the Italian was wonderful. The food and wine were great.

BEACH: We spent a lot of time at the beach. The sand is great but it is not Varadero or Punta Cana but not bad. The wind was consistent. The water was colder than expected. None of those things bothered me as much as the "SEA URCHIN BED of DEATH". About 20 feet out, there are coral reefs and they have thousands of sea urchins. By the way, sea urchins don't move much so you are safe. But, if you want, you can find a way around. Go way left and there is a path through. Look for white sand or light blue water. You can snorkel and see fish as well.

Excursions: I brought off the beach, and we when to Paradise Island. It was great but it took about 3 hours to get there. They forget to tell you about the time it takes to pick up the other guests from other hotels. Regardless, the trip was worth it.

Entertainment: Just ok, some good dancers, karaoke was fun to watch but with YouTube be careful.

Drinks: They water down the drinks but try hard to make them good. Heard a lot of complaints, but I did not have any issues. Wine was good at the Italian restaurant.

VENDORS: If you let them bother you, they will. "No Gracias" works, they are not aggressive just persistent. I used it as a way to practice my Spanish. The Monkey GUY is hilarious.

RULES: This is where it gets weird. The buffet requires you to use Purell before you enter. Not a bad idea, but I have never seen this before. Also, you are not allow to hang your towels or anything on rail outside your room.

All in all, a good vacation, the Dominican are nice and friendly. The hotel is a good value for your money, as advertised. If you booked, ignore all our bad comments, we/they are just mad we/they are back at work!

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael T
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
#5 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
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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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