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“Romantic Getaway”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 February 2014

We could not have found a better week to get away from 3 snow storms in NJ! Perfect weather. The property, accommodations, food and staff were excellent! We booked a Jr. Suite that had an ocean view of the Atlantic! The all inclusive package afforded us with wonderful dining experiences at 3 restaurants, an Italian restaurant, seafood restaurant and a Caribbean restaurant (which was the best). The buffet dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner offered great variety. A few dollars ($USD) to a bartender ensured a strong cocktail all day/evening.

The only small annoyance was the licensed beach vendors (they quickly recognized my shopaholic wife!) and little bugs showing up in the room-although they did exterminate!

Our Valentine's Day dinner on the beach was amazing... with a bottle of proseco delivered in the morning, a 5 course meal on the beach in the evening, roses, chocolates and rose petals on the bed in the evening and breakfast in bed the following morning!

Special mention to Vilma Beard, Guest Services Manager for her pre-visit emails and the front desk staff (Kevin) and Expedia's concierge services! JetBlue was easy-breezy!

Room Tip: Junior Suite is perfect size for a couple! There are adjoining rooms if traveling with others.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Reyrey59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,220 - 2,226 of 5,670 reviews

Reviewed 16 February 2014

We stayed here late June last year we were worried about the weather and some negative reviews
But can honestly say there was nothing to worry about the people were really friendly food great entertainment bait low key otherwise everything was good and the weather was kind would defiantly go back.

Room Tip: Sea veiw not near the pool to noisy Rooms facing the sea
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  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank kathy b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

We travelled as a couple returning to the UK on 12th Feb following a very enjoyable fortnight at VH Gran Ventana.
Greeting was friendly and Checking in smooth and efficient which was a relief following a long flight from the UK.

My Wife and I prefer to relax spending much of our time by the quiet pool so I cannot comment on the entertainment, although we were aware that plenty was provided.

Past reviews have complained about towels on sunbeds but to be honest we had to do it also because difficulty may have arisen had we not joined in and done so. The main issue is when selfish families reserve beds with property or towels and then disappear for the whole day without ever using them.
Contrary to previous reports we had no trouble booking any of the 3 Al a carte restaurants and they were excellent apart from some tough steak in the grill restaurant which was like chewing an old leather boot, in contrast to this the grilled Salmon in the Octopus restaurant was simply divine and all the other dishes we tried In all restaurants were very good indeed.
Food in the buffet areas was plentiful, tasty and varied but drinks waiter was in great demand during the busiest periods so we went dry or served ourselves on just a couple of occasions.

Negatives were minor such as no drinking water in fridge on occasion or too few towels but these things were rectified in minutes following a call to reception.

Positives too many to mention but Pools and rooms were maintained to a high standard and always very clean.
Staff are very friendly, hard working, focused and well trained which is a credit to the Management of Gran VH Ventana.

My wife and I would personally like to thank staff members Jaqueline, Romero and David Sime Bonila for their friendly efficient service and for trying their best to make our holiday extra special which they most certainly did.

Overall we had a fabulous time meeting lots of great people and wish to return to the VH Gran Ventana next year which speaks volumes because in all our years holidaying in numerous other places have never returned anywhere before.

FAO Management Our suggested reccomendations/Improvements:

• Provide Tea/Coffee facilities for people who inhabit the small quiet swimming pool area.

• Provide an adjustable workstation computer chair for the young lady who does the a la carte bookings as her current one is totally inadequate and potentially unsafe.

• Monitor Sunbeds not being occupied for longer periods.

Thanks for a lovely holiday.

Room Tip: Our room had an old fashioned TV but some others were equipped with a flat screen modern TV. This wa...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank ricaroo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2014

This is by far my favourite place ive been to! The food was amazeing, the A LA Cartes are fantatics and everything is very clean. EVeryone is so friendly! The entertainment crew is awesome! Especially Carlos Santana and Supertino they made my trip even better! They are fanastic!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Karli H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2014

Overall.
Not a bad place to stay. The grounds and buildings are well maintained and the staff is friendly. It's not grand by any means but comfortable and clean.

The food.
There is two buffet bars and both are relatively small in comparison to other resorts I've stayed at. The food was good and plentiful but both buffets close at the same time for resetting so there are periods of time where you can't get a bite to eat. Not so great for me as I'm a late riser and missed breakfast a day or two. There are three restaurants. The Italian restaurant is GREAT! We ate there twice and enjoyed it both times. The Fettucini Alfredo is delicious as is the lasagna. The Octopus (? not sure that's the name, it was upstairs from the main lobby) was also great. The steak was amazing! I was very surprised at the quality of the food at both restaurants. I did not hear great reviews of the beach restaurant so we didn't go there. And suprisingly, the red wine was good - which I haven't experienced in the Dominican before.

The beach
It is a nice beach but there is weeds close to shore directly in front of the pathway. If you go right at the end of the pathway past the volleyball net, the water has less weeds and more sand. There are a LOT of vendors on the beach and by the third day I was so tired of "Lookey, Lookey", "Happy New Year!" and "Happy Hour" being yelled out that I would not go to this resort again because of this. It was annoying and frustrating. Even after I told them that I wasn't interested, every 5 minutes someone else would come along and bother me again. As well, in February the wind pics up on the afternoon and it was so windy one day that I was sandblasted. As well, the products offered for sale are cheaply made (the seam in the skirt I bought ripped the first day and my girlfriends bracelet fell apart after the second day) and are less expensive at the plaza, a short walk outside the resort.

The pool
The pool is small but nice. Great for families with little kids as there's a sloped side that allows kids to wade in.

The entertainment
Is typical of all resorts. Nothing special here. Occasionally amusing and very loud. The disco is off the resort and the one night we went there was only 3 people in it. As well, drinks are not included at the disco, you pay as you go.

The staff
Are excellent. Very welcoming and accommodating. The best thing about this resort is the people who work there.

Excursions
We decided not to take an excursion through the resort. Instead we called a taxi (Carlos) from the front desk. He drove us around Puerto Plata and showed the interesting sites (rum factory, boardwalk, town square, cultural center), waited while we had lunch at a restaurant and took us to the cable car and waited outside (we were stuck at the top for an hour while they changed the wheel). And his price for 6 hours and three people was $40 USD. Much less expensive and a better tour. I recommend the cable car ride. The view was amazing! We also had Carlos take us to the 27 Waterfalls. Cost for 5 people was $80 USD plus $10 entry fee (which includes a tour guide) and $2 shoe rental fee. The waterfalls is worth the trip. It is a 25 minute walk UPHILL (with a lot of stairs) to the waterfalls and you slide or jump down 4 waterfalls. Not sure why they advertise 12 waterfalls (maybe there is 12 when the water is higher???). The walk through the bottom of the gorge was amazing. Cool to see and a great experience though my calves still hurt. LOL. Carlos can also take you to the Paradise Island tour for much less that the resort charges, He is a wealth of information and a great tour guide. Carlos Almonte Pena: 829-404-8155, car 140

Room Tip: It is loud on the pool side. A bunch of danes were partying at the bar until 5 am and we heard them...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Stopovertraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

We had a group of six people go to this resort in January. When I booked the vacation I asked that our rooms be near each other. Of course when we get there are rooms are as far apart as can be. They were able to switch one room the next day and the other the day after that. Why is this so difficult. The resort was clean, food was good and plentiful, rooms were comfortable (but why no dressers to put your clothes in), and the beach was beautiful. They really need to improve the Wi-Fi service. Whether you used the free or paid for service it didn't matter, it was hard to get connected and stay connected and this was very frustrating. They advertise bikes but, they only had two working bikes. If you want to play tennis the courts are free but, you have to rent rackets (why). The entertainment staff is off from noon until three. Why can't they stagger who is working so that someone has activities going all day for those who want to participate. All these small improvements would make a big difference. We did have a good time and I would recommend the resort.

Room Tip: If you want quiet you want a room in the older section. If you want to be in the center of it all y...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank lpederson59
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 reviewResponded 17 February 2014

Thank you so much for posting your comments and feedback – these are very useful for us and for future guests. We take our guest suggestions very seriously, so we would like to update you on improvements we are making: we have purchased a number of tennis rackets for guest use at no charge; we have sent our broken bicycles in for repair and we have contacted our WiFi provided about improving our signal. We do hope you will return to Gran Ventana so you can experience first-hand the changes we are making.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Just back from the Gran Ventana and wanted to share our experience and write some things that I had not read about before travelling to this property.

We travelled with a group of 12 that had 2 13 yr olds and 2 18 yr olds.

I was pleasantly surprised that the reviews of this property are fairly accurate. It is not a 5 star resort but we found it to be very good value for what we paid. We have paid a lot more and got a lot less at other resorts. The things that made it well worth the price was the food and the entertainment staff...all the little things you could complain about did not seem so big anymore.

Resort and rooms are clean. We needed an adjoining room and got it in the Saona Building. Food in the buffet and restaurants was great. Staff were amazing. Not just friendly but went out of their way to make sure everyone was having fun and we had no issues. We got 2 phone calls in our room during our stay to make sure all was going well with our holidays.

Supertino and Carlos went out of their way to get the two (very shy) teenage girls we had with us up and involved every day. They had the time of their lives! so thank you for that. The two boys were busy every day playing tennis (and yes tennis is free but the racquets you have to rent) volleyball, ping pong, pool, basketball, pool games. There was bingo, dance lessons, fruit carving lessons, darts etc etc....Many things to do should you want to do them. The kids were playing darts right up until we left on the bus for the airport. Many of the staff made sure to come and speak to our group to say goodbye and wish us well. The staff were very involved with them and made them feel very welcome. The staff did not hesitate to pick up a ping pong paddle or pool stick and have a game with them. If they saw them sitting around they were encouraging them to get involved. Honestly, I have not seen this type of interaction at any other resort we have been to. It made our holiday that much easier without having to entertain the kids.

If you are looking for a quiet spot make sure you are in the quiet Bata building!

We did the Cable Car/City Tour trip and went to Ocean World. The kids loved Ocean World. Just a FYI if you go to Ocean world...you can pay an extra $10.00 and swim with the sharks or sea lions. Swimming with the sharks had much more value for the money and was very safe. The sea lion one seemed more about a photo op then anything else. Also, drinks are not included and are expensive and don't bother bringing your own because they take them at the gate so that didn't work :0) The Cable Car ride was great and the lunch nice but after that it became tiring as it became a shopping tour and no matter where you turned someone was hounding you for money. The kids loved Ocean World but it is your typical amusement park atmosphere with everything costing a lot of money....but we thought it was worth the money to go once for the kids and it was.

We did not have a lot of issues on the beach with vendors. They are there but we just said no thanks. They did seem to approach people that were relaxing on the lounge chairs which could be a pain. We did have issues anywhere off the resort...very very aggressive.

Have to be honest we were off the resort on Saturday during the day but on Sunday it was quite noticeable how much more crowded it was with what seemed like local kids. Another couple that was there told us that they let the staff's families in on the weekend and that may very well be the case as there were A LOT of kids and a few adults there without bracelets. It was a little chaotic and not much supervision. Did not have problems with rowdy adults though. We did have one young girl take one of our lounge chairs while we went to eat and when we came back and asked her to move she refused and told us she did not understand. She was pretty rude. It did not take a genius to see that she was sitting in someone's chair? It had our towel, sunscreen and drink glass. Eventually with a little bit of angry exchanges she stormed off. I have no issues with anyone being at any resort but being rude is not OK for anyone.

I will mention a few things:

The beds are hard...no question...it was like sleeping on a table so bring the back medication or something to help you sleep as after 2 or 3 days it gets uncomfortable. All of our rooms and beds in the Saona and Catalina building were like this.

Try not to get a room facing the pool as it is very noisy...some nights when there was live entertainment were worse then others. Our room was facing the side where the beach bar was and not facing the pool and there were 3 or 4 nights that there was no way you were going the sleep until after the entertainment was over...which really wasn't too bad as most nights it tamed down by 11:00-11:30.

There is a problem with getting dinner reservations for the al a cartes. Book your al a cartes either before you arrive which people must be doing or the day you arrive if possible and if not get down to the desk by 8:00 or 8:30 am the next day (which is in the Beta lobby) We arrived Monday afternoon and went to our orientation Tuesday morning and I went to the desk before the meeting was over and was told that there was no reservation available for the whole week and this was at 10:00 a.m. I went to the tour rep and said something and they came over to the desk and had a discussion with the reservation desk and we were able to get 2 reservations for the following Saturday and Sunday but nothing for the Italian as they said it was completely full. We were told by others that they never did get a reservation. Now a plus for us and very nice thing for them to do was they had a cancellation and the staff came and found us by the pool the next day and got us into the Italian so we did experience all three restaurants and they were all very good. The buffet is good but it is nice to have a change. This is something the resort needs to address.

Also, you have to make a reservation for the buffet for the Manager's night on Wednesdays or you can't eat until 9pm You don't learn this until they slip a note under your door. We also had a hard time getting a reservation for this. We had seniors with us and two 13 yr olds and there was no way they would wait to eat until 9:00 pm which is when they told us they could accommodate us, but that is the only option available for eating on Wednesday nights. Eventually they did get us in at 7:30 but it took a lot of negotiating and it is very chaotic in the buffet that night! Lots of long line ups and some very very rude people who thought they did not have to stand in the lines and some would literally push you out of the way! I was stunned. Thankfully that did not happen too often. Some reviews said the restaurants were half empty but that was not the case the week we went. The resort was at full capacity and very busy.

BEWARE...this is not a 24 hour eating resort. There is no food available between 11:00 and 12:30 pm and there is no food available between 5:00 and 6:30 pm when the buffet opens. The beach restaurant is open for lunch at 12:30 - 3:00 and snacks till 5pm and then it closes as it is the Ocean Grill at night. We were told there were snacks in the buffet from 11:00 -3:00 am and then nothing till buffet opens in the morning. Some had issues in the morning if they had an early excursion. We arrived in the afternoon and were starving and had to wait until 6:30 pm to eat. Keep this in mind when planning your days....This was the first time we have encountered this.

Also, if good internet service is a must you will be disappointed as we had a hard time with it all week.

The towel game....unfortunately the towel game at this resort is at an all time high. You either put a towel on a chair fairly early or simply put...you do not get a lounger. I don't like it either but the week we were there was not enough lounge chairs for bodies. So...play the towel game we did! One of the days we were going off the resort on an excursion we were down by 7:30 am and over half the chairs had towels on them. My in laws came down at 9:30 am and there was not a chair to be found. It is what it is. If the staff see a white towel from the room on a chair they will remove it so that does not work. The first day we were there they told us we could only get one towel per day and if we wanted to change it for a dry one we could only do so between 3 & 6...but I found they did not really enforce that when we were there.

Don't lose your room key as it is $2.00 each time to replace. The key has to be in the slot inside the door or there is no lights or air conditioning. We left one of our keys in the slot as it got tricky at night to see when coming in after dark.

They have actual keys for the safe and it is $16.00 for the week. A little tip...bring a little flash light in your bag as it is very dark in the closet where the safe is and in our room we could not see to open the safe without the flash light.

There is no perfect resort and even though there were a few little annoying things all in all we had a really good time and would recommend this resort 100% to anyone. The food, staff and entertainment people make up for any short comings. There were many repeat vacationers at this resort and that says something. We tend to try different resorts but I would not hesitate to go back to the Gran Ventana! It was Excellente!!!

Room Tip: Quiet Room only in the Baeta Building; Don't get a room facing the pool if you don't stay up...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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10  Thank Proud-Canadian66
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

Address: Playa Dorada | PO Box 22, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £77 - £267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 506
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Playa Dorada, a gated oceanfront community on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is home to Gran Ventana Beach Resort, one of the country’s friendliest, most welcoming hotels. Located directly on the beach, our Puerto Plata beach resort boasts three pools, a kids club and an airy, cool and fresh lobby. We also offer a superb, all-inclusive value for families, couples and group vacations. ... more   less 
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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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