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“Excellente resort, amazing people, great food!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Excellente resort, amazing people, great food!”
Reviewed 26 June 2014

The resort is amazing, the staff is one of the best i have had a chance to meet. Especially Blonde! They always make everyone have fun day and night. Carlos Santana is hilarious! The beach is very peaceful and the resort itself will not disappoint you. the price is great too. Christina from guest services is very good at her job and knows how to provide excellent service.

Room Tip: any room is good.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank LEO C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

This was my 4th time at the Gran Ventana hotel but the first time I have made a review. within the time I have visited I have certainly seen a huge improving certainly for the best which is clearly due to the new manager Oscar lorar. Prior to the visit we requested our rooms and on arrival were given our requests without question the rooms are very basic but extremely clean and spacious which is exactly what we required. the reception staff are fantastic very approachable and friendly and will do all they can to help especially Julio and alberto during the night who went out of there way to help myself and other guests on numerous occasions. The pool and beach both very relaxing plenty of sun loungers and both areas are constantly being cleaned throughout the day and night. the entertainment team work so hard and do an amazing job especially blonde, delphie and sweetie. Despite previous reviews I think the food is excellent myself and my party ate at the alcarte restaurants 7 times throughout our stay and managed to get reservations as soon as requested. There is 4 bar areas within the resort and all were staffed with extremely friendly, helpful and hardworking staff we were travelling with a group of 6 and they new exactly what we drank and would not hesitate to serve us. Although I do rate this resort as 5 star what you read in previous reviews with regards to the local visitors is completely true and does have an effect on your stay this is something which I did not experience the previous 3 times I stayed there. If the local visiting is to continue the pool area must be supervised because on numerous occasions we did witness unsupervised children jumping and diving from the swim up bars and into the shallow area and we did witness a small child cut his face. Despite this it does not change my high recommendations of this hotel and I do plan on returning to this hotel within the next 4 months.

Room Tip: we always request a ground floor room facing the pool but for a quiet room request the quiet area!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Katie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

Ok so to start off I must stress I was on holiday BY MYSELF!

So was a little anxious to begin with. However, there was no need to b what so ever!

Arrival.

On arrival everything was quick and easy, didn't even have to carry my bags to my room the bell boy Carlos brought them to my room, as they do with all staff. From this moment on he has remembered my name and checks how things are.

My Room.

Firstly it was huge! Queen size bed, all to myself, bathroom was a good size and shower pressure surprised me. Everything was spotless, slight damp smell but nothing that would cause any upset. I was at the back of the building so right facing the beach! This was great at night, if there was entertainment on I didn't want to take part in or wanted an early night, I couldn't hear a thing, except the sea waves if I kept my veranda door open. Air conditioning was amazing! I had to turn it off a few times because the room would be so cold! There is also a room fan though so could still be comfortable!

The maid cleaned the room every day, and if you wanted fresh towels every day you would get them, although since I was there myself there was no need for a change every day, there was plenty towels!

The fridge was stocked with a big bottle of water that was filled up every day (if It was used) there was two cans of beer and a bottle of Pepsi and a bottle of 7up. Again stocked every day!

THE HOTEL

Ok, the hotel itself is great, if you've been to places like Egypt 5star it won't compare with the luxury there but it certainly covers everything you need. And even when there's something missing the staff will do everything they can to fix any problems. The wifi isn't the best but I paid for the internet to ensure I could contact people at home and it worked fine! There is a free option but it was a little more temperamental.

The staff were so super friendly and being a girl on my own I can say 100% I felt totally safe and never uncomfortable! After a few days there everyone new my name and would check I was ok. People are so friendly it was easy to make friends quickly so I wasn't alone for long.

ENTERTAINMENT

typical holiday entertainment, cheesy but hilarious! They put a huge amount of effort into trying to please everyone but needs audience participation which wasn't always as good as it should have been! There's also a managers night every Wednesday with live music as a taste from the bravissimo show. There's day time entertainment at the pool and at the beach (which also has wifi) and the night time entertainment is every night until about 11pm.

There's a nightclub a short walk down the street which is air conditioned and plays a mixture of music. Great night and everyone again is really friendly.

FOOD

The food is great of your not too fussy. It's buffet style and they cater for everyone! Unless ur a really fussy eater I'd struggle to believe anyone could not be happy with something here! The pudding's are amazing too!! There are 3 a la carte restaurants which u need to pre book. They open different days and are Italian, sea food and grill. Although, all menu's have something for everyone!

There are some amazing trips which really depend on the person you are but I would recommend ocean world and the truck extreme!

On the whole I had an amazing holiday, met some fantastic people and made some life long friends!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ashley R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2014

The resort was beautiful, the staff were as friendly and interactive as could be and the three restaurants had awesome food and service (even the buffet food was good). We had a couple issues with respect to our room, so we were immediately changed to another without a problem

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Matthew C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

We arrived on a Thursday and it was so beautiful and quiet, we were so excited for our stay here. Room was perfectly fine and we spent minimal time there aside from sleeping. AC worked great, everything was clean, and had a decent partial view of the ocean. The pillows were pretty bad and lumpy, but after long days outside in the sun it was never hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The pool area was great, water was warm and pleasant, and the drinks were also great despite people complaining of lower quality alcohol. Just slam them and get another, it all tastes the same after putting a couple away. It was also very easy to go out in the morning and get a chair if you wanted to.

The beach was amazing! Very clean and well taken care of. There were plenty of chairs under umbrellas all down the beach that were readily available throughout our stay. The folks on the beach trying to sell you excursions and other little souvenirs were plentiful and constantly approached you, but a simple no thanks and they were on their way. The water was clear and had a lot of cool coral and rock formations to check out if you snorkel. You only needed to go a few feet from shore and you were surrounded by coral and fish. Very cool for anyone looking to casually snorkel and see some cool fish. Also because of the coral close to shore there were no boats to obstruct the view, which was cool.

We didn't do any excursions, but we know well enough that if you want to do anything it will be at least twice as much to organize through the hotel rather than doing it yourself. So keep that in mind if you plan on being adventurous. Same goes for taxis. Just go outside the complex and find your own for much much cheaper.

The food was more or less atrocious (buffet and snack bar), but it's an all inclusive so you shouldn't expect much. The only restaurant open during our stay was the Italian one and it was very good food. It would have been nice to know that the other two were not open so we could have made reservations sooner to avoid eating the "food" at the buffet.

Here is where it all went down hill...

Friday afternoon hundreds and hundreds of local Dominicans began flowing in through the main entrance. Everyone was either staying or had a day pass. The majority of them were completely rude and inconsiderate. No way you were getting a chair by the pool, the pool itself was basically shoulder to shoulder with screaming kids and everyone splashing and spilling drinks. Several people brought their own music entertainment and would just set up some speakers and a subwoofer next to the pool and pound music until the sun went down. At one point there were women...mothers...in thongs dancing on the pool bar. Nearly lost my lunch... To avoid this chaos you could go to the beach which was obviously more crowded now, but still chairs and peace and quite to enjoy if you were ok with walking down the beach a bit. Don't count on the quiet pool actually being quite. For some reason people thought that since the regular pool was over crowed they could bring all four kids with their blow up toys to this area. Despite myself and several other people complaining none of the staff did anything.

It is an all inclusive resort, so you should know what your going to get for your money as it is usually the same everywhere. I didn't let any of this ruin my trip of course and I enjoyed my vacation and the country itself immensely! Moral of the story, stay away on the weekends.

I will not go back to the Gran Ventana, but I would love to return to this amazing and beautiful country!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank cschub13
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, 26 June 2014
Thank you for your recent visit to Gran Ventana and for your kind words about the beach and the resort. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy everything at the resort. We take all guest feedback very seriously. You are correct that the hotel is popular with local residents on the weekends in the summertime. Please be assured that we will be increasing the management presence during these times to help insure that noise is kept to a minimum and that all guests have an enjoyable time. We are also turning the ‘quiet’ pool into an ‘adult only’ pool. We do hope that you will return and give Gran Ventana another try.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2014

I'm not sure how this hotel has gotten such good ratings... I agree with the other person who thought that perhaps they've been buying reviews because this hotel was a complete let down.

OVERALL: Save your money and go to Mexico. It's an outdated hotel, with a teeny tiny buffet. The weekend locals make for an unbearable three days. Everything about Puerto Plata makes you feel like these people consider you an ATM. Waste of money and waste of time. Terrible terrible terrible.

FOOD: The buffet food was good. They had a majority of healthy options. However, the buffet is tiny. The hotel advertises 500+ food options, which is a complete lie. Unless they are counting every item served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including all of the a-la-carte items, AND condiments it is impossible that there are 500 items. They have a small salad bar, one choice of soup, one small dessert area, two rows of hot dishes (maybe ten items on each) and a grill that has a small number of meat choices. Little was offered in the way of snacks, between 5 & 630pm there are no snacks, and between 11pm & 2am you can get a hotdog or hamburger, nothing else.

ENTERTAINMENT: Activities were poorly done, they never had a schedule up of what was being offered or what time. I missed the water aerobics on the two days they had it, and it was offered at different times. The nightly shows were okay, but they only had two actual shows that consisted of dancing (that were very similar). The other nights they had karaoke or just music. Shows lasted an hour at most. The entertainment team however were the most friendly people on the ressort, and were fun to talk to.

ROOMS: We paid for an upgraded suite room. It claimed to have a living area, which was two extra chairs and a small table. Not worth the extra money. The other rooms were just as good. The ocean view is blocked by a lot of trees but is still nice to look at. There is no mini-bar in the rooms. You get two cans of beer, two cans of pop, and a jug of water. (Not bottled water, it's refilled water

LOCATION: The hotel was located in a small area filled with hotels.. It was quite safe, but not much in the way of other restaurants or night life. About 20 minutes from airport.

BEACH: The beach was nice. Not white sand, but still pretty. They cleaned out most of the seaweed and rocks, until about a four foot depth. The venders on the beach were relentless however. You couldn't sit for thirty seconds without someone else coming to try to sell you something. Usually hotels have a line set up where venders cannot go past, this hotel does not. It was so bad that we ended up at the pool most of the time. If you want to swim in the ocean, I would suggest going straight to the water, bringing no shoes or towel, and go straight back to the pool.

MAIDS: Maids were wonderful. They did a pretty good job with the rooms, considering that they are so out dated.

LOCALS: Apparently this hotel gives weekend rates to the Domincan people. On Friday afternoon, hundreds of local families came pouring in. The pool was completely filled, if you looked at the pool, all you could see was a sea of black hair, you couldn't even see the water anymore. Almost all of these people went into the pool with their clothes on, and would then walk soaking wet to their rooms, without having used a towel, leaving all the floors and staircases dangerously wet. I also never once saw a parent take their child to the washroom, not once in SIX HOURS, so I can only imagine how much pee was in that pool. The buffet which is already tiny becomes packed. You can't find a sear and You can't even walk through the crowds. Good luck getting a dessert because these people take twelve at a time. We had to request an additional a-la-carte to get away from the insanity at the buffet. They also completely take up the entertainment seating, which becomes a 100% spanish show for those two nights. The tourists were banished back to their rooms the whole time these locals were there, and only after they left Sunday (they got a late checkout time of 3 and 4 pm) did I see the tourists come back out.


EXCURSIONS:
DO NOT GO HORSEBACK RIDING. These animals are not taken care of at all. We had to stop our trip with the horses early because I did not have the heart to make these horses finish their ride. Their bridles don't fit properly and the horses' mouths are rotting out. My horse only had two teeth left. They also didn't stop to give the horses a snack or water and it was over 40 degrees outside.

27 Waterfalls trip - This was an okay excursion. The name is misleading however, because we only went to 4 small waterfalls. This trip includes hiking,stairs, climbing, and a decent amount of swimming, I would suggest it for only the physically fit. We had a few older ladies with us, and an overweight couple, and they struggled a lot. It took us an extra two hours to do this part of the trip, and we were left waiting in freezing cold water while the guides tried to figure out what to do with these people. This trip included visits to see the villages, a cigar factory, and where they make the coffee... Their goal of this is to get you to buy as much as possible, and it makes you feel very uncomfortable. the trip was 6 hours (took us 8) and 75% of it was focused on getting us to buy more things.

NOTES: There are little children without clothes/shoes on all over the place begging for money... DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY. They skip school hoping to get this money... DO NOT GIVE IT TO THEM. Their education is much more important.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank April A
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, 26 June 2014
We would like to assure all TripAdvisor readers that Gran Ventana has never, and will never, buy reviews. We are lucky enough to have amazing guests stay with us year after year who are passionate about our hotel and our staff and who want to share their experiences here with the world. We invite all readers to also visit our Facebook page where our guests also contribute tales from their visits to Gran Ventana.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Okay, so this review is specifically for girls travelling together. We've been travelling from NC and shuttle service that you can sing up for online prior to your arrival is VERY useful. It took us about 10-15 minutes to get to the resort. Behind the gates you are pretty much safe, except there are ocassional beggars and sellers walking along the beach and offering stuff. Somebody stole my flip-flops while I was swiming and my friends were taking pictures. And no, there were not drowned in the ocean, they were stolen. Then, City tour...unless you want to be dragged all over city bazaars, pressured to buy their @authentic@ dominican souvenirs, pass this one. Arrange a cab to go directly to the cable car stop, where you can get to the top of the Mountain. At night we went to Coco Bongo, apparently that's were locals go? because we have not seen any tourists there that night. The hotel itself it clean, easy to navigate, we loved FOOD! One night we went to the french restaurant on the beach, but you have to walk about 15-20 minutes down, towards the Mountain, since it does not belong to the hotel, but it is worth it! Gran ventana's restaurants were good too. Their entertainment team is excellent! Thank you guys for everything! However, there is not a lot to do at night, except going somewhere outside or eating at the restaurant. We spent our evenings relaxing under beach cabanas, which is exactly what I needed.

Room Tip: get junior suite in Catalina building facing the pool
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tetyana O
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 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic 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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