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“A good getaway”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A good getaway”
Reviewed 1 January 2014 via mobile

We had a lovely time here the staff are attentive and forever cleaning. Ibrahim from the restaurant and Shakalaka from the entertainment team were great, but in honesty ALL the staff make your stay enjoyable. The safari outback trip was excellent as well as the Santa Domingo excursion . We are rested and ready to start 2014!!!! Well done all EXCELLENTEEEEEE x A&M

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Anjie J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2013

After carefully researching resorts for a December getaway, we selected the Gran Ventana based on a number of positive reviews on TripAdvisor. We were very pleased with our 4-night stay last week. The resort was clean, the staff was very friendly, the food was good and we were able to check out a sailboat and play tennis, in addition to lounging on the beach with unlimited rum (and other) cocktails.

The main pool is huge and has a swim-up bar, and there's a separate quiet pool if the main pool gets too loud or crowded. The beach area is beautiful and, importantly, there was never a lack of available lounge chairs, which were comfortable and in good condition. If the ones near the entrance are all taken, just walk a bit to the left or right and you'll find some. They also had plenty of thatch overhangs that serve as large and sturdy umbrellas for shade. (They also came in handy during the one brief rainstorm during our stay -- we stayed underneath and barely felt a drop.) The pool gets a bit more crowded, but there's the second one as an option. There are plenty of bars and never too long of a wait (maybe five minutes a couple times, but most times none at all).

There are a lot of beach vendors as others have mentioned, but they were never intrusive or overly aggressive.

Because our flight landed after 3 AM (we flew directly from JFK to Puerto Plata on JetBlue), we needed to and were able to check in to our room in the middle of the night without a problem. Our room was clean and well-appointed, and the room had energy-saving electricity features which we liked. While not in the quiet area of the resort, our room was tucked away enough from the main pool area that we did not hear noise from the activities, as some here have complained about.

Since this was our first all-inclusive experience, we were not sure what the quality of the food would be, but we were pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of food served in the buffet. There were plenty of locally-inspired dishes, plus standard American fare for people not feeling too adventurous while in the Caribbean. The options changed for each meal as well, so it was not the same set of dishes every lunch or every dinner. All guests are given three a la carte dinner options, which were good, but not great. The bartenders are very nice and the options for drinks very wide -- but not top-shelf, of course.

We were excited at the opportunity to have additional activities like sailing and tennis, which we took advantage of. However, as a person who has sailed, my one suggestion for the sailing option is to maintain the boat with proper parts, including a jamcleat for the mainsheet and other repairs to the sail. It seemed that this activity is outsourced to another vendor whom the hotel contracts with, but it's something Gran Ventana should look into.

The resort delivered very well on the core services -- eating, sleeping, drinking, beach and pool. But some of the amenities could use some more attention and updating. For the size of the hotel, it could use more than one tennis court, one sailboat, one ping-pong table and two pool tables. The pool tables were well-worn, with holes in two of the pockets so the balls just fell out, and the ping pong paddles were worn down to the wood. Activities were available 1-hour at a time, and there was no guarantee guests would be able to have multiple reservations over the course of the stay. If you stay here, plan ahead for your reservations--for both activities and dinners.

In another aspect of entertainment, the "animation" program--the emcees of the resort--kept things happening. There was good live music in the early evening most nights before shifting to more of a comedy/variety show later on. Some of the vaudevillian aspects of evening programs, however, were eye-roll worthy. More live music please!

The Internet is available only in the lobby and quite spotty at times, but it's fine if you just need to occasionally check email, as opposed to doing serious web-based work.

Overall, we would recommend staying at this resort and would definitely consider returning.

Room Tip: If you need a quiet option, just ask.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Amy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cobourg, Ontario
Level Contributor
127 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

We returned yesterday from 6 day stay here. We asked to be moved after the first night because of the music being played late at night at the main pool. Ok, it was Xmas and we expected parties, but we also wanted to get some sleep. We were moved to the "Quiet building". Problem with that was people sat at The Tiki bar until after midnight (past 4am some nights) and made noise, dragging bar stools and such. We got no sleep at all and that ruined the vacation for us. Our room was not cleaned until the last day and we had to request clean towels. The toilet was broken and kept filling up during the night (more noise). The resort is on a beautiful beach with shallow water and the vendors on the beach leave you alone if you ask them to. The food was really good at the buffet and average at the restaurants. Lots of families having fun and lots of activities to keep them entertained. Now, one thing, why do people have to SLAM doors in places like these?? All through the night, SLAM, SLAM, SLAM! I am grouchy while writing this because I have had no sleep in 6 nights!

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room but if they offer to put you in the "Quiet building" remember that th...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank elainelily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Resort_Team, Manager at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, responded to this review, 6 January 2014
Thank you for your recent visit to Gran Ventana and for choosing our resort to spend your holidays at. We are happy to hear that overall you enjoyed your stay, but we are sorry to hear about the noise issue you experienced during your Christmas stay with us. When one of our valued guests takes the time to outline experiences such as those noted in your review, it is much cause for concern. So we immediately looked into the housekeeping issue and the team informed us that there was a Do Not Disturb sign on your door on Dec 27th and we were unable to reach you by phone. Please know that we are in the process of enhancing each a la carte restaurant in order to create more memorable experiences. We do appreciate your comments and hope the situation experienced will not deter you from returning to our friendly resort.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

We just got back from the best family vacation ever! I can't say enough about the resort! The rooms were very clean, the food was wonderful, but honestly, it's the staff that just make this place so much fun. From the time we walked in, we were welcomed and made to feel right at home. Everyone always had a smile...from the maids (Maria, you are the best!) to the bartenders (Luis and Paoblo...gracias) and especially the animation team (Carlos and Jose..you guys rock!) we had a blast!! We will definitely be back soon!! Thanks again to ALL the staff...amazing job! EXCELLENTE!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Karen N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowmanville, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2013

This was a smaller more intimate resort compared to some of the other resorts we have stayed at and we can say that the staff truly made our 10 day stay (Dec. 5-15) at this resort great. It’s not difficult to see why this resort has a high return rate of guests. We will definitely plan on returning. A big thank you to Oscar and Villma for looking into the smaller details that enhanced our nightly games experience. We found that holidays at this time of year exactly what we look forward to – the resort was very quiet and never did we find it difficult to find space at the pool or beach areas or restaurants. We are ones that like to walk the beach and found this beach clean and very suitable. The beach vendors were plentiful, but we found a polite “NO”, and they were not bothersome. The entire resort was clean and well looked after. The nightly entertainment was great, thanks to Robert and the rest of the entertainment staff that work so hard. The show ended approx. 11 to 11:30 pm and if your room is facing that main courtyard – if you’re one that’s early to bed - request a room in another part of the hotel to avoid the noise. There were no issues with the food. There was always a great selection at the buffet that catered to most taste buds. The 3 a-la-cartes offered a great variety in their menus. Thanks to the wonderful staff – Helmut, Nelfrie, Miguel, Salamon, Amable, Augustine, Jesus, & Roque, just to name a few. Our junior suite room was well looked after by Lydia – Thanks. Can’t wait to return for another great vacation at this wonderful resort. We hope to see our Orillia Trio girls again as well as the St. Clair girls and Brampton family.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank UsTwotraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Grimstad, Norway
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We stayed there from 9/12 to 23/12. The staff at the hotell were very friendly. The Food was terriffic, and the Ocean was Nice and warm. I loved snorkling there. I can really recomend this hotel. We all loved it :)

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Anitaeig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LAVAL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2013

Left during a snowstorm and returned during a snowstorm, so picked the right time to travel south. Arrived at the hotel at 2 A.M. after a 3 hour delay. Check in went quick and we went to our room. We had a Superior Room which is nice enough, very clean, and we were in a building away from the main complex, with the "quiet pool" viewable from our room. We were on the ground floor. The woman who cleaned our room during the week did a great job, she was very nice.

We skipped the Suniwing meeting the next morining as it was at 9:00 A.M.but did meet with the Sunwing rep the next day. Very nice man, very helpful. Any questions we had for him during the week he was happy to answer for us.

The resort itself is very beautiful, and compact. I overheard one gentleman tell a member of his family that he liked the fact that it was very easy to find anybody, there weren't too many places they could get lost.

Buffet was good, had a few "rumblings" after the first day but a little medication ended that storm and no more problems the rest of the week. Only comment would be that I was a little surprised that their man on the grill seemed to only be cooking hamburgers and hotdogs, at lunch time, anyway. Thought he might have some pork chops or fish available. The 3 A La Carte restaurants we tried were very good, The lady who books the A La cartes, we called her "Honey", is very nice, we had a lot of fun with her during the week. One of the A La Cartes, The Ocean Grill, is a snack bar during the day, from noon, serving hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and pretty good chicken wings. The beach bar is right beside this restaurant.

The nightly entertainment was ok, a lot of audience participation, one night was Karaoke night. There is a tennis court for daytime activities and a small mall is a very short walk away. There is a bar at this mall that is right beside CoCo Bongo that apparently shows hockey games. Only figured this out the last day, so never took advantage of it, but if anybody needs their hockey fix during the week, there you go.

My only disappointment was the vendors on the beach. I read a previous review before going that said that if you were closer to the water they didn't bother you too much. Tried that, didn't work. We took a walk down the beach one day to relax. Passed in front of a neighbouring hotel and out comes a salesman to invite us in to look around to stay at their place next time. Explained to him we weren't interested and out comes his supervisor. Another day we walked the other direction, same story, minus the supervisor. This didn't ruin the vaation as the people are not mean and I know they're just trying to make a living, but it is a little annoying.

One thing that impressed me was the Wednesday night manager's cocktail, where all staff, management and employees, are presented, and cocktails and appetizers are served, a live band entertains, and when the buffet opens and the guests enter the employees make 2 lines and applaud as the guests enter the buffet. First time I've seen that at a resort, I thought it was a very nice idea.

We would recommend to our friends, but would mention the beach vendor issue. We would consider returning, notwithstanding the same beach vendor issue.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank JIM B
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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 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:
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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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