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

SO i assumed from the previous reviews and for the price we paid this hotel was going to be mediocre but we def ddi not expect what we received. No body mentioned on weekends,locals are welcomed to come for a very small fee, therefore when we got there on a friday the resort was unbearable. It was WAY over packed you could even attempt to go in the pool that reeeked of chlorine, the swim up bar was filthy with n service, the buffet area was more of a cantina n it was just overall chaos. The room to be fair was decent and clean, however we had a HORRRRRIBLE mold smell that did not go away as much as we tried to air it out. The breakfast with the fresh smoothies was probably the only decent thing about the food everything else was disguisting. The a la carte restaurants had VERY few optins. Octopus is very dark n the food for the most part is very limited n just OK enough to make it edible, Ocean Grill was a little better but the only tasty things were the fried options... the worst part was probablt the alcohol that was absolutely uncomsumable. the domestic brands litreally make you sick, the wine is not drinkable at ALL and i am not a wine snob, the only thing we could drink was the beer and after this trip i never want to see a Presidente ever again. Luckily we escaped to the hotels sister hotel which is a 5 star boutique hotel that is absolutely stunning, to do that of course we had to pay a la carte for everything and to use the facilities we had to make spa appointments so overll save your money and put an extra $300 towards your trip n take yourself to a resort you will actually enjoy.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Smaranda2210
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 11 August 2014

We are very sorry to learn that you did not enjoy your recent stay. You are correct that for 2 months in the summer we do receive a higher number of Dominican residents at the hotel. It is not correct, however, that they only pay a small fee. In fact the price per night for a weekend only stay is significantly higher than the price paid by our week –long guests. We are glad to hear you enjoyed visiting our luxury sister hotel, Casa Colonial. Perhaps we will be able to welcome you back there in the future.

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Reviewed 5 August 2014

All inclusive and a wonderful hotel Staff and food was excellent.I went their with my beautiful girlfriend and we both enjoyed it very much.I would recommend it to anyone who is going to Puerta Plata. There are plenty of food and bar areas available. Its right on the beach and a great place to vacation. I will be back there when I return to the Dominican Republic.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

My boyfriend and I were looking for a very low cost, relaxing vacation and booked our stay at the Gran Ventana because the price was right. We were not disappointed!

We went for 2 weeks in July and were happy that the resort was very quiet as this is the off season for travel. As other reviews mention, the place does get busier on the weekends as locals are off work and looking for weekend getaways. It was a little noisier and a lot fuller but nothing unlike being a resort during peak periods of travel. It didn't bother me at all. In fact, I like when there are people visiting from the local regions because it makes me feel like I'm really travelling, being able to meet people from the country I'm visiting.

The resort is beautiful, VERY clean and the staff is just lovely. Very friendly but not intrusive (with the exception of a couple of the entertainment staff, more on that later). The staff is always happy to help and always ready with a smile. They really seem to enjoy their jobs! Of course, they may just be acting the part but they were very convincing if this is the case!

Most resorts I've stayed in Puerto Plata are so big that you need a golf cart to shuttle you from your room to the beach or restaurants or pool. This resort consisted of 3 very large, 3 story buildings that housed the rooms (note: the Beata building is a little farther from the main pool and buffet area but it has its own quiet pool with no music or entertainment staff -- complete with its own bar. It's also the site of the Italian a la carte restaurant). In addition, the main building houses the concierge area/lobby, lobby bar (don't miss the frozen passion fruit drink! Amazing alone OR with rum), buffet restaurant, the Seafood a la carte restaurants, a few VERY basic shops (overpriced for their convenience), money exchange, hair salon and the small computer lab that has no AC and very little ventilation. The last structure is on the beach and houses the beach bar, snack bar grill which becomes the Grill a la carte restaurant in the evenings.

Just outside the resort gate is the entrance to the Playa Dorada Mall. There are a handful of touristy stores, jewelry stores, clothing stores, a few convenience stores and a place to exchange money. You MUST haggle in most stores.

The pool was gorgeous and very warm (on some of the more stifling days, a little too warm but I'm not complaining). It has a "beach entry" that slopes down to waist level by the swim up bar. Past the bar, it's about shoulder deep. I actually would take my book into the deep end and stand at the edge reading. I got some rays, kept cool and relaxed reading my book. A few parents would put their toddlers at the "shore" with a couple of baby pool toys and then just sit by relaxing. At first I was a little taken aback about the parents leaving their kids alone in the water but it would be like letting your baby play in a puddle as you sat a couple of feet away. I actually think it's perfect for toddlers! Safe and accessible for everyone.

The resort is super clean and they are very well staffed in this area. Almost as soon as there's a crumb on the floor or an empty glass, there's someone along to clean it, mop it, sweep it or take it away. Our room was kept very clean and our maid was quite lovely. Our minifridge was stocked with 2 bottles of water, 1 Pepsi, 1 7up each day and 2 cans of beer. Some days we got a 2L bottle of water, a couple of times we got a 4L bottle. I heard someone near the end of our trip ask at the front desk if they could have diet pops in their fridge and they were told yes. If I had known, I'd have done the same. :)

The beach was gorgeous, water was clean and calm and mostly sandy at the bottom. There were like 5 big rocks and a small patch of seagrass. I've read other people's reviews where they say you need water shoes. You totally don't! The water is clear and you can see the huge rocks to avoid them as well as the patch of seagrass. Further out there is a small coral reef which, I suppose if you chose to walk on it, you could wear shoes. If you borrow a swim mask or bring your own there are so many fish out there! Snag a banana or a roll from the restaurant and you'll be amazed! Yes the vendors are relentless but if you say no gracias, they move on. The only issue we had was that it was a little more breezy on the beach so there was a little blowing sand. However, it's very cooling in the hot July sun.

Here were the only 2 downsides to this resort: food in the buffet restaurant and entertainment. I will end my review with a break down of the meals as this was what I looked for in tripadvisor reviews before I left.

Entertainment: The entertainment during the day was not what I was interested in but some of the things might be interesting to others. They had some pool games that were mostly relay races, some chances to learn how to mix cocktails or cut fruit and some volleyball games most days. I found the staff was either irritating or rude, depending on the staff member.
One of the guys called himself "supertino69" and he was just obnoxious. He did this terrible impression of the Woody Woodpecker laugh so often that I almost complained... It was literally every few minutes! I told him if he did it again I was going to shoot myself in the face but he didn't seem to care lol. I didn't meet one person who thought this laugh was funny, cute, endearing or even tolerable. He also ended most phrases with a strange sound "awuuu" that got tired really fast. He didn't hesitate to tell me that he was "famous on Tripadvisor" and that most people came to the resort because of him. We were there for 2 weeks. At the end of our first week, we noticed he had cut down the terrible noises immensely (he MUST have been spoken to, these noises were like involuntary Tourette's ticks) and by the middle of your second week, we never saw him again. A rumour floated that he was with some guests at the local disco and touched a girl's behind. The boyfriend apparently got really mad and they got into a physical altercation. I don't know if any of this happened but the rumour circulated right when "supertino69" disappeared. Another of the entertainment staff (we didn't catch his name but he was a little chubbier than the others) referred to my boyfriend as "lazy" for not wanting to engage in the sad pool relay races. My guess is that this isn't offensive when translated into Spanish but, in English, it isn't the most complimentary of terms. It didn't help that he referred to my boyfriend as "Sexy Belly" and asked him when his baby was due because he is on the stockier side.
The night entertainment consisted of bingo ($5 per card for a small gift basket prize of coffees and such) or karaoke or music that was followed by different shows. The shows were not great lol but they were something to watch. The best shows were the ones when they involved the guests and NOT the dance shows -- the skill is simply not there. They had a couple of nights with live music and the bands were quite good.
After every night show, the staff escorted anyone interested to the local disco but my boyfriend and I didn't take part in this.

MEALS! -- The a la carte restaurants are very good. I would go as far as saying that the Octopus and the Sappore Di Mare restaurants are fantastic and, as soon as you can, book them for as many nights as you can. They far exceed the quality offered in the main dining buffet.

Food at the Beach Snack Bar: This is your best bet for lunch. They have a small selection of sandwiches that they'll grill for you, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizzas (not great but not bad), nacho chips, queso, salsa, small salad bar, 2 different kinds of chicken wings, rosemary seasoned quarter legs of chicken, fries, soups and rolls. When lunch ends at 3, you can still get most of these items until 5pm. I loved the chicken and the wings!

Food at the buffet: The buffet food was the epitome of average but there was great variety and something for everyone. I'm a big proponent of not criticizing something without having some suggestions but I don't know how to suggest ways for the food to simply taste better lol. The service is impeccable, the people are extremely friendly and very attentive. They circulate offering beverages and cleaning up plates always with a smile.
-->Breakfast was pretty good, the best is the omelette station where they were happy to make me egg white only omelettes and also offered fried eggs upon request. There was a selection of meats (over cooked bacon, hot dog-like sausages, different ham dishes), boiled eggs, potatoes of varying types, many kinds of rolls, pastries, breads, cereals, yogurt with different toppings, donuts, muffins, cheeses, cold meats... Like I said, the selection was not the problem! Every meal has a couple of hot soup containers and at breakfast, these contained oatmeal or hot chocolate or other breakfast oriented hot "scoopable" foods.
-->Lunch was very average but one of the things I loved was that there was often an antipasto bar that had fresh bocconcini, different vegetables, breads... it varied really but it was delicious! They also had a few different pastas with different sauces and always a couple poultry, a couple seafood, a couple beef and a couple vegetarian choices for mains. They also had the grill which offered hamburgers and hot dogs at this time. There were some veggies, some different potato choices and breads as well.
-->Dinner was very similar to lunch but they usually had a few different pizzas by the grill and often a different roasted meat being carved (turkey, pork, roast beef, a huge fish -- different every night).
-->11:00pm snack consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, fries and a very small salad bar that had limited selection. Sometimes there were veggie quesadillas, sometimes pizza.

All in all, we had a great time here! I would go back without hesitation and would fully recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: We preferred having a ground floor room because then we wouldn't have to take the stairs all the...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
4  Thank Melizza73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2014

Just got back from a lovely 2 week holiday with my boyfriend, hotel lovely, rooms very clean and the food was brilliant. The staff are brilliant defiantly over worked especially at the swim up to bar they work two bars at once which when it's busy it's a nightmare. I wouldn't go back to this hotel for one and only reason....the locals, they are allowed in at the weekends which is fair enough but I have never met people so rude, numerous times found them on our sunbeds, trying to steal our towels or pushing in front of us in the ques. We began to dread the weekends knowing how busy the place would become, the pool was filthy as they would just chuck their cups in with drink still in there or with the fruit still in the cup. The noise level more than doubles when they are there and you can't go in the pool without getting splashed constantly or getting people swim into you. The entertainment team turn into life guards at the weekend so you get no entertainment and the volleyball net gets taken down. Such a shame because I loved the hotel but if you want peace DO NOT BOOK!

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Aknight23
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 11 August 2014

Thank you for your recent stay at Gran Ventana and thank you for your kind words about the staff. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy each day of your visit. During the weekends of July and the first two weekends of August we do have a high population of local guests and children. In order to guarantee a quiet area during those weekends, we have adjusted the quiet pool to adults only. If this atmosphere is not to your liking, we hope you will return to see us at a different time of year.

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Reviewed 4 August 2014

We have just got back from holiday and just wanted to say what a great place it is all the staff are friendly ,happy and make u feel so welcome and my 2 girls luv victor aka chicken leys lol one of the entertaiment team they found him so funny but all the staff could not do more than enough for u it was excellent and cant wait to go back next year

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank 477sallyr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 August 2014

I stayed at VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort in July with my boyfriend and we loved it. The hotel overall was very nice and clean. All of the staff was wonderful. Upon arrival we were greeted with cool towels and a frozen drink. Check in was surprisingly quick and easy. Since the summer is technically the "off-season" in the Dominican Republic, they offer the locals a deal to stay at the resort on the weekends. It didn't bother us, however, I can see why many other people complained about it in their reviews. Since there are so many guests on the weekends, the buffet lines are significantly longer and the pools a bit overcrowded. The resort has two pools, one of them is located in the resorts "quite building" so if you want to escape the loud main pool I suggest walking over to the other pool. The quite pool does not have a swim-up bar but is still located right next to a bar. The restaurants at the hotel were all very good. The food at the buffet did not change much day to day but I suggest making reservations at the a la carte restaurants for dinner instead. Our favorite was the Italian restaurant but they were all very good! All of the bars on the resort open at 10am and stay open until about midnight, so getting a drink is never an issue. The resort offers nightly entertainment, they put on shows in their main lobby area. A lot of people came out to watch the shows and it was a good time to chat with other guests.

The only downfall of the resort is the beach area. The beach itself was gorgeous and there wasn't a lot of rocks in the ocean, however, the resort allows locals to come on the beach to sell things to their guests. All of the people are nice but they don't take no for an answer. Also, the hotel advertises that they offer free wifi but the service is very spotty and doesn't work in any of the rooms, only by the main pool.

I would highly suggest that you go on an excursion while you are there. My boyfriend and I went on the Puerto Plata city excursion and the Outback Safari which we booked through Blue Traveler. The tours were absolutely amazing! We visited so many beautiful places that we would have missed out on if we had just stayed at the resort. Manny was our tour guide for both tours and he was the BEST! If you book a tour try to make sure he is your guide. He knows so much about the area and makes sure that everyone is having a good time. The Outback Safari tour also donates a portion of the money they make to the local schools which is a plus. You get to visit one of the schools that the sponsor while on the tour, so if you go during the school year, bring something for the students they love it.

Overall, the Gran Ventana was a beautiful resort that offered everything we were looking for! I recommend this resort to all.

Room Tip: If you are looking for a quite room stay in the "Beta" building, that their "quite bu...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sarahwetmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2014

You never know until you go. This place is a gem, I would rate it a 4.5/5 if I could only because of the swimming area is much rocker/grassier than Punta Cana/Turks and Caicos etc. but note this is being picky. The resort is awesome, very close to the beach and the hotel. The rooms, grounds are kept very clean, the staff cleans ALL walking areas everyday with soap and water. The pool has huge cover from the sun at the bar, with the standard Caribbean drink selection (rum, beer etc. etc.). The buffets had a great selection, and the a la carte restaurants were all really great. The staff were all more than willing to help, and were very personable and friendly. There were no shortage of palapas at the beach and most of the vendors went on there way with a simple and stern 'no gracias'. I do not like/enjoy 'resort games', and there were some here, but spread out nicely between the pool and the beach, and not overwhelmingly loud or lengthy. There is a second quiet pool at the second set of buildings at the hotel, which I didn't discover until the second last day. The doctors office is within walking distance, should you need one, and we bartered on the beach (instead of booking through the hotel) for different excursions and were completely satisfied with them both (Waterfalls and Paradise Island). I did bring clothes for kids mostly and had many opportunities to hand them out to resort staff, as well as locals while on tour. Get off the resort if you really want to know about a country! All in all, great place to go, would go back again easily. ……….one more thing, LITTLE TO NO BUGS there…………..first time ever I've come back from the Caribbean with only3-4 bug bites!!!!

Room Tip: Book on the first floor near the pool…( we were in the 2100 section)………………..10 second walk to the po...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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Thank FromKanata
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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £81 - £254 (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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