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“Great Vacation Destination”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Vacation Destination”
Reviewed 28 July 2014

Recently traveled to the Dominican Republic in Puerto Plata. I stayed at the Gran Ventana resort and had a wonderful time!The hotel is conveniently located 7kilometers(4.3miles)from the airport.The grounds of the resort are beautiful,lush vegetation,ocean views,and plenty of places to relax.Our room was clean and comfortable with air conditioning and a mini fridge.Staff were second to none!Very friendly and helpful.Our housekeepers kept our room spotless and even made animals out of the towels! It is an All Inclusive resort so all food and drinks(including alcohol)are included.The bartenders are amazing,great drinks,great atmosphere, and very friendly!There are three AlaCarte restaurants to choose from,Italian,Steak House, or Seafood.As well as a buffet serving breakfast,lunch,and dinner.The food was great and the menu changes nightly.Beautiful sunsets on the beach not to be missed! Over all a great vacation destination and I would recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: Building 2 is the newest in the resort
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JoshuaPapuzza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014 via mobile

We have just got home today from our first visit to the Dominican Republic. Booked the Gran Ventana Beach Resort with high expectations which were exceeded. The staff work continously to ensure that the holidaymakers are happy and are enjoying the experience. Went on two trips. The first to the cable car and Puerto Plata. The second was an outback safari. Both were excellent. The beach sellers are not offended when you say 'no thank you'. A very special thank you goes out to Victor from the entertainment staff who truely made our holiday. Such a nice man who works incredibly hard for the benefit of the holiday makers. Definitely will be going back.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Jennifer C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2014

I have never written a review before, but after this past vacation I felt it was necessary! I've been on many vacations, from all-inclusive to cruises to regular hotels and I can honestly say this was my worst experience. We had booked to stay at the Gran Ventana for 7 days, but after one night we ended up switching hotels because it was so awful!! We switched to Casa Colonial, which was a lifesaver!! It is crazy too because they are run by the same management but could not be run any differently. Casa Colonial is not all-inclusive, but it is WELL WORTH the extra few dollars for the level of service, food, and beauty that the hotel offers.

Lets start of with check in. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon and the entire lobby was full of people. Luckily the check in went very smoothly and we were escorted to the back and checked in within 15 minutes.

Our Room:

We were in the Catalina room on the ground floor. It was gross. While the floors were clean there were multiple pieces of hair on my bed as well as in the shower. It was obvious that they changed the sheets, but had left the comforter from the last visitor. There was no hair on the inside sheets, but the comforter had multiple strands. Both the comforter and the sheets should be changed with every new visitor - you would thing this would be a given. Apparently not. I just picked off the hairs toilet paper and tossed them in the trash thinking oh maybe it was just from house keeping, no biggie. The "mini bar " had a large warm gallon of water (with the seal broken! - which makes me think they reuse and fill), one Pepsi and one beer. All warm since the fridge only worked if the card was in the electricity box. In my opinion this cannot be considered a mini bar. Safe needs to be rented and it is too small for a regular sized computer.

Pool Area:

Absolutely swarmed with locals on Sat and Sun. I'm all for having locals benefit from the resorts, but there should be a cap on the amount of people allowed in each day. Literally the pool was crawling with screaming kids running wild. I can't even imagine how much pee was in that pool. We couldn’t even find a seat because of the amount of people. It is also absurd that there are "towel cards" and each person can only have one towel per a card. What if you want a towel for your chair and then one to get wet after going swimming? Also don’t lose them because you'll be charge 20 a card!

Beach:

Was pretty, chairs were the cheap netted kind and many of them had holes but it was fine. Gets pretty windy though. Similar to the pool it was over crowded. There just needs to be a cap so that it is not so overwhelmingly crowded!!

Foods/Drinks

I thought this would be my saving grace. I thought whatever the rooms are kind of yucky – I’ll ask for new sheets and just pray that Monday is calmer and quieter- and I’ll just get drunk all weekend and eat good food. Wrong. The food was disgusting. I am honestly not a picky eater, but I found it very difficult to eat the food. The pizza was okay, but the burger at lunch was very rubbery feeling. For dinner I literally only had white rice and pizza. Even the desserts were not tasty. It was funny my boyfriend and I would always be ok this is going to taste good we'll just have this all week - but were never found that one thing we truly enjoyed! I've stayed at multiple resorts that were all inclusive - IFA in Punta Cana, Cozumel Palace, Breezes Bahamas, and the food at all of those places blows this food out of the water! I honestly never was satisfied but just ate minimal because I was starving. I will say my only experience is with the buffet and pool/beach restaurant because we left after one night, but it should have been a tad more satisfying. The breakfast omelets were the only decent thing. And the drinks, wow, you can truly tell they use the bottom of the brands. If you want anything of value you have to pay for it. They literally served us wine out of a container that looked like an antifreeze container. I wasn't even able to get drunk and forget the entire two-day stay because the drinks were like rubbing alcohol, and believe all I wanted to do was to get drunk and forget the terrible experience. I seriously wonder and hope that they use different food/alcohol during the week days when the locals are not there - thinking maybe it is just so many people it is cheaper to use poor quality while everyone is staying at the resort.

Service

I don't know if it was that there were too many people at the hotel - since we were only there Sat/Sun, but the service was non-existent. I usually love staying at all inclusive because the staff is so happy and such a good team. However, here it seemed like they did not like their job. I will say whoever checked me in was friendly, and efficient but unfortunately I don't remember her name. When we went to dinner there was literally 20 tables that had not been bused. Filthy dishes everywhere. We had to legit search until I just went up to a staff member and asked for a table to be cleaned. Then we waited, and waited, hoping someone would ask us if we wanted a drink, but nothing. At all the other hotels I've stayed at even if it was just the buffet they always ask you if you want something to drink. My boyfriend ended up going to the bar and getting us drinks. I think if they are going to have a surplus of clients, they need to up their amount of servers; it is just too many people and too little staff members!

Overall our vacation at Gran Ventana was short lived because nothing was going right. The next morning we hoped for a better day and were planning on just staying when my boyfriend had gotten coffee and there were legit clumps of stuff at the bottom. That was it, we walked down the beach and found Casa colonial. The little stuff that people complained about like paying for wifi and the safe box (which btw is not big enough for a laptop!) didn't even phase us. It was honestly the gross food/drinks and lack of service. When we asked the front desk the cancellation policy and that we were thinking of switching hotels there wasn't even like a "oh what is bothering you here and what we can do better?" It was "we charge one night fee and oh ok so you're leaving." If the staff doesn't care about the hotel enough to try to improve it then it's truly a lost cause. I've never complained about anything regarding hotels, but it was just one thing after another with this place. We ended up staying down the street at Casa Colonial, which was absolutely gorgeous. I thought it was going to be way more expensive but it really wasn’t too bad and definitely worth it! We did go back to hotel on a beach walk a few days later and everything looked peaceful and quiet, but I highly doubt the food/drinks/service was any better. It is completely crazy to me that the same people operate Casa Colonial and Gran Ventana. The staff at Casa Colonial was amazing and you could tell they really loved their job. I think it would be beneficial to Gran Ventana to put some extra love into it, update the rooms, start buying better quality food and drinks and hire some more staff! The staff is probably completely overwhelmed with the amount of clients on the weekends and I’m sure it drains them. Tables need to be bused at dinner and people need to be offered drinks even if it is just a buffet. The Casa Colonial does such an amazing job and I think the Gran Ventana could benefit from some TLC from management!

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank 463nicolep
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, 29 July 2014
We are certainly sorry to hear you did not enjoy your one night at Gran Ventana – we do wish you had let us know before you checked in to your new hotel. We are very pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our sister resort. It is important for future readers to know that both hotels strive for excellence; we are positioned at very different price points in the marketplace. At Gran Ventana, we pride ourselves on providing exceptional and friendly service at a good value.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 27 July 2014

it was our first time coming to this resort, we choose it base on reviews, now we know why many travelers choose them,this is a great family destination, not a lots of amenities but people in here are a blast, they will make sure you feel like home in this place. I have to thank so many employees that I think I will just thank everyone because all of them deserve a recognition.

The food is just amazing if you are the type who eat a lot this is your place to go, for those spanish people reading this review I have to tell you they even have white rice and beans, mangu and much more spanish dishes.

Entertaining crew are fabulous very funny all of them, Carlos, Jesus, Chacalaca, Delfi, Laura and all of them. so next time you are searching for a cool place to go to this should be one of your top one...

Room Tip: if you want to have access to the main pool make sure you ask for rooms near the pool area, if you w...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NancyPolanco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We had a blast at the beach and our vacation was nothing but absolutely perfect! Room was clean and spotless. Food and the service was excellent. The warmth, the hospitality, the comfort, the great entertainment and all round great value. Yes I can say that internet was paid not free but where ever you go in the DR, regardless of what hotel you stay or all inclusive property, it is all paid so if you need it just pay for it like we did. We were very impressed how the hotel manager was out on the floor greeting guests and putting a face on hotel operations. All staff were connected, committed, and all hotel service was at the top at their best and set the tone for the entire hotel management. We were very happy to see staff friendliness and fun. In short this hotel was fantastic for us. We'll definitely go back there and have another blast ...Thank you all!

Room Tip: Room in Catalina would be a great choice
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OzzieS2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lebanon, Indiana
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

This was my second time to stay a week at the Gran Ventana. I returned to Gran Ventana because I again traveled solo and this is a safe, small, clean resort with good food, comfortable accommodations, a friendly staff, and great pool/beach areas. The staff is always ready to assist, yet leaves the vacationers alone to enjoy their vacation if that is their wish. I enjoyed all the food, even in the buffet restaurant, mainly due to the wide choice of vegetables at every meal. If a vacationer is paying this type of price for an all-inclusive, he shouldn't expect gourmet dining all the time. The food is hot, plentiful, flavorful, and there are many healthy choices. I recommend this property to people who want a quiet vacation near the pool or beach with a great staff, good service, and good food. I think this place would be too tame for the spring-breaker types.

This time, my entire vacation was handled seamlessly by Beachbum Kathy at beachbumvacation.com. Since I'm having difficulty walking, she even arranged wheelchair service at each airport! Many thanks to Beachbum Kathy and Gran Ventana for a safe and restful vacation!

Room Tip: I like the Catalina Building near the ocean side because I retire early and need a quieter spot than...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank putz_lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2014

Stayed from July 6th to july 20th.
Arrived at hotel and was welcomed with a nice cool drink and cool flannel. Checking in was done quickly. We booked through Thomson's and booked 2 twin rooms and 1 double for a couple and requested to be put on first floor and not ground. Don't know if this information was passed onto hotel as we ended up with 3 twin rooms on ground floor. Rooms were clean but found the beds were quite hard and uncomfortable.
Food at the buffet was good, loved the fresh smoothies at breakfast. The italian restaurant was good but service was a bit poor on our 2nd visit. The ocean grill was a nice restaurant and really enjoyed the food.
Mainly used the main pool and beach, pool bar service was slow and weekends were busy as hotel was open for locals. My husband found the beach bar service excellent, he had not even finished his drink while sitting reading and the bar man had brought him a fresh one over and this happened all the time over the 2 weeks.
The beach was clean and sandy but from about midday the wind picked up and it was like a sand storm. Loads of beach sellers but they were all friendly and if you said no thank you then they just moved on,they were all happy and chatty and we had great fun on knocking down their prices. beach sellers stayed on the beach and did not enter hotel grounds. Enjoyed a pedicure and massage on beach.
The hotel gives daily free sessions for kayak, snorkelling equipment.
Plenty of activities to do during the day if you wanted to join in the pool games, darts etc.
Evening entertainment was ok but did not start till 9.30pm so after dinner everyone was just sitting around, would have like the kids mini disco or something to be in main entertainment area so people had some entertainment to keep them occupied before the main entertainment started. The Michael Jackson show was really good, cocktail party night's were also good. Cocktail list for the whole holiday was amazing, you just have to try them out.
We must admit Blondie was our favourite out of the entertainment team.
The thomson rep was very helpful and happy and always stopped to check everything was ok during the day. All in all it was a good relaxing holiday and would use this hotel again.

Room Tip: rooms 1148 - 1151 in-between beach and pool, quite quiet . Room 1154 is opposite evening entertai...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Brenda L
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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family 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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