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Reviewed 26 March 2014

We are from the US, in our early 60's and this is our 1st trip on a 7-night, all-inclusive, Caribbean vacation. We were at the Gran Ventana as part of a group traveling with The Jimmys Blues Band who were scheduled to play 2 nights of the week.

Cool towels and drinks were provided as we waited for our turn to check in. Our bags were brought to the room quickly. We stayed in the Beatta Building which was about a half block away from the main hotel, lobby and cafeteria. But there was a pool and bar just outside our door. I have 2 knee replacements and I am overweight. The walk to the main area as well as the room on the 3rd floor was fine for me to handle 2-3 times a day.

The room itself was clean and maid service was good. There were 2 queen beds and they were comfortable. The bathroom was dated and needs upgrades to bring it up to the usual expectations of US travelers. The toilet didn't flush completely every time but was ok to use. We did have a huge beetle in our room on 2 nights. Startling but not harmful.

There is lots of good food with local specialties every night. The dining rooms are spacious and cool if you don't sit by the kitchen. Sometimes it took a while to get drinks from the waitstaff but beverages were also available in the buffet area. The staff was friendly and helpful. Some had trouble conversing beyond the basics in English.

We were there for the band's performances and the entertainment area had plenty of seating with good views and good room for dancing. There are lots of male and female hosts who engage the audience to dance. There is entertainment every night but we only attended the 2 nights The Jimmys played.

We loved the beach! It is clean and there are nice lounge chairs available. If no one was sitting on a chair we sat down even if a towel was on it. Never seemed to be a problem. There were lots of adult, licensed vendors selling on the beach area. They were friendly and not pushy. Since I was interested in looking at their items I didn't mind. In fact I was looking for specific things and at least 3 of the people made special efforts to find what I was looking for and came back on following days with that merchandise. One young man spent more than an hour helping me to modify a t-shirt with beads to my desire. Another man waited 4 days for me to pay for a scarf I bought. They are very nice people and enjoy talking to the tourists. However, be sure to haggle for the price you want to pay and be patient.

Since we went as part of a group trip I can't comment on the value of the resort. I think other guests paid less for their accommodations than we did. Part of our cost covered the fares for the performers.

Room Tip: Rooms on the third floor have high ceilings. The Beata Building is quiet and some rooms have ocean and mountain view (on 3rd floor). There are no elevators but the 3rd floor is easy to reach.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank JimmysFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

I spent a great deal of time researching this resort on trip advisor and Cheap Caribbean. I was looking for a good, solid rating, for the very best price possible! So we were on a tight budget, and I knew we weren't going to an amazing 5-star place. I just want to tell that part first, because when I see negative reviews about this resort, I'm convinced they are from people who had unreasonable expectations for the resort.

We got a FANTASTIC price for our trip, and stayed 7 days, 6 nights. I feel the Gran Ventana was GREAT! First of all, the food was very good. I loved the fresh juice and smoothie bar in the morning - great made-to-order eggs. We ate at all three restaurants, and had a nice meal at each. Will they blow you away, no... will you enjoy and get plenty to eat and have lots of choices? For sure!

My favorite thing about this resort was the staff. The people were fabulous! I got to practice my Spanish, which is appalling, but the staff were patient and I really enjoyed being able to have conversation in the native language. Service was very good. On our first morning, I spoke with a few cleaning ladies and explained that I'd like Diet Pepsi, Diet 7up, and Diet Presidente (the beer) during our stay.I asked for this instead of the "regular" versions of those drinks that are in the fridge in your room, and restocked every day. I tipped 5 bucks, and the top of their heads almost blew off! We got the drinks I requested for the week, along with adorable towel swans and flowers in the room.

I really loved all of the servers at the restaurant. Our favorite was Augustine. Marika does all of the reservations at the restaurants, and she is a love. If you are polite and smile and say "Thank you" everyone there will love you, and you will love them back! My best guess is that people with negative things to say about the staff were grumpy, entitled, or just plain rude.

I sent an email via the website requesting a Beata room (the quiet building) and I got a lovely email back from Marisol letting me know we were all set! We were very glad to be there, because it gets a little crazy over at the main pool.

Ok, here are some areas where there is room for improvement: All the alcohol is "bottom shelf", which was ok with me, and then people could pay extra for premium. Just a note in case that is a problem for you. Also, there is a lock and key for the room safe, and although a personalized code would be smarter, the key wasn't too much of an inconvenience for us.

Some of the "entertainment" during the day by the pool was a little on the "girls gone wild" side of things. If that is your bag, great! But if you want to chill and want it quiet, either head for the Beata pool or try a different resort. There were many complaints from others on trip advisor about the beach vendors - it really did not bother us in the least. And I was actually worried that it would be so annoying! Not annoying at all, just keep reading, or relaxing, or whatever you're doing, and the vendors will pass you by.

The Beata pool - while quiet and simple, was always FULL of people. I mean that there are not too many chairs, and by 6am ALL CHAIRS by that pool were "claimed" by people's towels. It was annoying, not only because it was intense, but because sometimes people did not show up for their chair for many hours. So there were days my partner and I were forced to go to the loud, main pool, because there was nowhere to sit at Beata. More chairs and a rule about not being able to "claim" your chair so stupidly early would be great.

We had a "suite" in the Beata, which we were grateful for, but it was actually one gigantic room, and so the TV was so far away from us that we couldn't see while lying in bed! I know, this is hardly a problem, but we ended up dragging the dresser with the TV atop into the middle of the room so that we could enjoy a little TV at night. Just a little design flaw.

So, if you are a bargain-loving vacation-goer who wants the best value possible, this is the place for you! If you love super-fancy, and if you need luxury, or if you HAVE to have wifi all the time, then this is not your kind of place. But we loved it!

Room Tip: Beata for the quiet lovers. Also, a nice separation from the hustle and bustle of the main "campus" if you will. Although it does seem that other areas of the resort have been updated, the Beata rooms have most certainly not been, so if you don't mind old-school, then Beata for you!
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Lisa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2014

The bad impression started when we arrived at the hotel and we asked for a safe which should cost 18CAD but it actually cost as 19 CAD because the guy didn't have change.
Next day we went to the beach and the big surprise was that there were not chairs for us and no umbrellas we understood that we have to wake up at 6 o'clock and go to the beach to leave something on the chairs if we want to have one. There was a battle for the chairs and a good business for the staff working on the beach. There were no activities like volleyball, yoga or aqua gym even if they were included in the gym. No towels in the bathroom and amateurs shows in the night. Only the beach and the food ware ok but nothing special. I will never go back. They do business with the beach towels and the bath towels if you want to change them before 3 o'clock you have to give a tip....
I will never go back to this hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank hris23
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 28 March 2014

We are so sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your visit to Gran Ventana. We very surprised to hear that you had bad experiences with the staff. As you can tell from the majority of the other reviews, the staff are the stars of our resort. We also have scheduled activities every day of the week, sorry you missed them. Please also know that our staff do their best to provide excellent service to all guests, regardless of tips. We do appreciate your comments and the information you have provided will have an impact maintaining the level of quality that is well known at VH Hotels & Resorts.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Just came back after spending one week at Vh Gran Ventana Resort. It was our 3rd trip to DR, second to the Puerto Plata area. This resort is extremely clean, rooms didn't have that musky/damp smell as we've encountered previously when staying at the Caribbean resorts. We had a king size bed room in Catalina building 2nd floor facing the beach bar area. It was very quiet and as I mentioned very clean.
Beach is the best part of the resort! Just fantastic! Great snorkeling just steps into the water (bring bread from the buffet). We walked quite far in every direction of the beach, and we noticed that Gran Ventana strip was the cleanest and had the newest (at least the best looking) beach chairs.
Food - no complaints there. We've had better and we've had worse at the all inclusive. We always seamed to enjoy meats from the grill station.
Special shout out to the evening bartender Luis at the pool bar, always smiling and ready to refill! He always had the best Mamajuana !!!
Special Thanks to assistant manager Marisol Guzman who upon arrival made us a reservation at one if the restaurants and made sure we got a King size bed room.
Can't wait to go back to VH Gran Ventana and bring friends with me!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Gabbynor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2014

Went for Spring Break last week - the hotel itself is beautiful! We had a few issues checking in at first, but upgraded to a Jr. Suite and we were fine. The only suggestion I have is about the food - make sure you book a reservation as soon as you check in, because it was difficult to reserve tables for the restaurants (they book fast). However, the buffet food wasn't bad - we ate there most of the time.

My personal favorite part of this resort is the Entertainment staff! The boys were awesome - especially Carlos Santana. He made my friend and I feel so welcome like we were home. All of the Entertainment staff kept us dancing each night, with different shows and events that kept us having fun and smiling. Between the dance shows, game shows, bingo night, live band and more, we were entertained each night we were there. They definitely made our trip the best it could be. Thank you Carlos!

Although I went for Spring Break, there were people of all ages around the Resort. I'd definitely stay here again. I miss the weather and the entertainment staff the most. We had a great time!

Room Tip: The Jr. Suite was very nice!
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Virginia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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