To begin.... this resort is perfectly located approximately 15 minutes drive from the airport. Upon arrival we were met with a cool towel (how refreshing) and a fresh drink. Check in was a breeze. We were a group of 6 and had made some room requests which were mostly fulfilled, those that werent were promptly fixed the following morning.
The rooms- we had a superior king suite in the Catalina building. Room was nice, clean and ocean front. We found the beds to be quite comfortable and have nothing negative to say in that sense. Our room was ocean front with a decent view, though partially obstructed which was actually nice for privacy.
The grounds- This hotel is BEAUTIFULLY situated in Playa Dorada. The grounds are clean and constantly maintained. We found the location to perfect. Within walking distance to Puerto Plata Plaza, Coco Bongo (HOW FUN) etc.
The Pool- SO MUCH FUNNNNN! Spent many a days next to this large, refreshing pool. Pool bar was alot of fun and the service was great as well, especially after a few dollars tip. We found the pool to be well maintained and clean.
The Food- The buffet was plentiful and always something to eat. Towards the end of our 7 days it did become a bit repititive but we were never hungry. The ala cartes are definately worth reserving, but do so immediately as they fill up quickly. We LOVED the italian one the best. As far as illness goes, two people in our group got a very mild case of stomach cramps etc but could have been from all the banana mama's we consumed. Nothing serious.
The Beach- GORGEOUS! Not the most impressive blue water I've ever seen but definatly pretty. The waters were mostly calm and inviting, though a couple of days the red flags were up. You can walk distance in either direction and the surrounding mountain views were spectacular. Lots of snorkeling right off shore too...I would suggest bringing your own snorkel gear however.
Issues- I really dont have much negative to share, and that which I do is NOT a reflection of the resort itself, but I do feel is worth a mention. First off, day 1 of our vacation we meandered down to the beach at 6:45 to get our chairs and hopefully a palapa. The reviews you read about people saving chairs ARE TRUE! We could not find ONE chair. We spoke with a gentleman working the beach (he is employed by the resort) and asked about people saving. We were told that wasnt allowed and we could move the items left. Which we did. The people had 6 chairs with 4 flipflops saving them. We hung at the beach for nearly an hour before they appeared. The french woman (who did speak english) was exceptionally rude, shooing us out of chairs and telling us "this is my place". She and her daughter then proceeded to bribe the workers to "tell them to leave, and I will pay you" which the workers refused to do. We ended up exchanging words with this woman and eventually gave in. She was rude and continued to be rude to us for the duration of our trip....THIS CHAIR SAVING CRAP SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED! Again, cannot really fault the resort, but they really need to make changes in this area.
Finally, on our next to last day we spent the day poolside. By 4pm the pool was packed with people of all ages. We spotted an American couple (yes Im from the US too) across the pool. The woman had moved her bottoms over to the side and her male companion proceeded to engage in sexual acts....at the POOL! Not kidding, never seen anything like this before. We notified staff who did not see them, we ended up asking them to leave the pool area as we could see what they were doing...they proceeded to FLIP us OFF... Weird events.
None the less..... AMAZING trip, AMAZING beach and would definatly recommend this resort to people who enjoy low key, relaxing vacation.
Excursions---LOVE LOVE LOVE PARADISE ISLAND. Also did the waterfall excursion.... dont book at the resort, make the short walk to the plaza and save yourself a significant amount of $$
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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