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“Great Hotel , boring resort”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 August 2014

1st of all , the hotel is great, the food is very nice the drinks plentiful and varied and staff so please t and hard working.
Has a great pool and anyone picking on about little things need to go to moreexpensive hotels.
What spoilt it for me was the beach and the seller's on there, you were always pestered to buy things and never left alone and when you go on excursions you were always given a bit of hard sell someone was always trying to get your money :(
It was my first time to the Dominican Republic although nice I will be looking to go somewhere else next year.
Great hotel though if you like to just stay in 1 place.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank dirtyrider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,875 - 1,881 of 5,670 reviews

Reviewed 14 August 2014

I will admit that I read several reviews and figured most people were staying to long in my opinion and had to have something to complain about. But I will admit, your best bet is to do excursions during the weekend and get your reservations for the weekend as soon as you arrive. (This is not a joke, reserve now to get your spot at the Ala Carte).
The reviewers that complained about the rooms kill me. Does it have a comfortable bed? Is the water pressure good? Does the A/C work? Then who cares, your on vacation, you shouldn't be in the room more to sleep and shower. This is a beautiful island to be hauled up in your room.
So onto the negative side of things. The weekend was not my favorite time at the resort. At this point the resort was over crowded and the rules of the resort were not being maintained.... For example, the swim up bar states adults only, but at times there were more kids than adults. Yes I blame parents more than anything, but the resort must also man their rules.
My only other complaint would be how difficult it is to set up reservations at the Ala Carte restaurants. I think there should be a better way to set up reservations. We made it to all three, but we had to work some magic to get in the third one. The amazing part is that your told they are full and then you go to eat and there are 6 open tables. I understand some people make reservations and never show up. But I think you should at least offer up the vacant tables after a certain period of time.
Otherwise, we had a great vacation here, the shows were very entertaining. The beach was great, mind you the afternoon wind get pretty rough at times. But the resort does not control the weather....Duh!
My favorite part of the beach is the close proximity the reefs are to the beach. Bring bread out with you and the fish will get much closer.
All in all a good vacation spot for the money....

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Timandjenni
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 18 August 2014

Thank you for your recent visit to Gran Ventana. We would very much like you to know that this past weekend marked the end of summer season which does get busier on the weekends. The rest of the year our occupancy is more evenly spread throughout the week. We agree that we need to improve the a la carte reservation system and we are working on a solution as we speak. We promise by the time you return, we will found a better way!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2014

After last years stay at the Riu playacarMexico this hotel would have to be good.First Impression was pleasing,check in was very smooth,nice bar area and plenty of seating.Our room was a bit run down compared to our friends which was right next door but had been refurbished.Fridge didn't work,replaced after 4 days,great shower, good air con, rooms always clean so not too bad.Pool good but not enough sun shades,people were getting up early to put towels down just so they could get one then disappearing.The quiet pool is worse as it only has five which is a shame as it is a lovely place to relax.Beach was fine but wind very strong in afternoon,sellers up and down all day but a polite no and they are on to the next person.All staff work very hard and are a credit to the hotel.We all found the food great,good selection and fresh.Now for the bad bit when the locals swarm in on the weekend,they are rude,they shout always and have no manners.Saturday is worse as the pool is packed with locals and they don't seem to get out to pee as the water is very unclean.See tips if you want to avoid the bad bits.Would not go back simply because of the locals.Nowhere as good as Mexico.

Room Tip: Book a' la carte restaurants when the locals descend on the hotel, and book day trip for Saturda...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank Brett D
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 18 August 2014

Thank you for your recent visit to Gran Ventana and your kind words about our staff. We would very much like you to know that this past weekend marked the end of our summer season, when we tend to get a higher percentage of local clientele on the weekends. We have primarily international clientele from now through next summer. We are also undergoing a major renovation this September. We do hope you will return and see all of the improvements.

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Reviewed 11 August 2014

The resort was wonderful, especially if you have kids.
Room:
We had a Junior Suite, which was very big. Plenty of room for the 4 of us. The bathroom was clean and spacious as well. We had a balcony with pool and ocean views which was nice if we wanted to get cleaned up before dinner and the kids still wanted to play in the pool. Wifi wasn't very good in our room but we were able to get service on the balcony.
Ocean:
The beach was clean but it was really windy when we were there. The wind is very strong and when the sand hit it stings a little. Apparently July and August are windy. The water was nice and blue. Not a large area to swim because of the reefs but enough to enjoy the water and views. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that when you enter the beach from the resort you have vendors trying to sell you stuff or give you a massage. If you want to avoid this, there are other ways to get to the beach and avoid them all together.
Resort:
The resort was very clean and nice. There was someone always cleaning up. Plenty of room to sit around the pool area or bar. The specialty restaurants are ok but nothing special. Nightly shows were alright but if you've been to an all inclusive, the shows are pretty much the same.
They have pool tables and ping pong for the kids plus volleyball and other activities at the pool during the day.
We had a terrific time and I was glad we chose this resort because it is very family friendly. My kids stayed busy the whole time and had a great time.

Only con I have for this place is the locals on the weekends. If you go, plan your stay from Sunday to Thursday.
The place gets very crowded and some are not very friendly.

The resort is in a cluster of other resorts and they have a mall at the entrance.

Room Tip: if you are going with kids, I would recommend a Junior Suite.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank mmrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Lovely hotel, the staff look after you all the time and are extremely friendly and helpful.

Food good and caters for all from fresh fruit to the unhealthy option of burgers etc.

The only downside is the influx of locals at the weekends - the hotel gets very swamped and very, very busy but after they have gone Sunday evening the hotel resumes as normal. Suggest you save your options of Ala carte restaurants to the weekend!

Cannot fault the staff and when we did have a minor problem it was resolved straight away without any fuss.

A very enjoyable holiday

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank squibby104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This is a review of a family vacation, with only one weekend night. I feel it is necessary to state that up front in order to make a fair comparison to other postings. Arrival was good, bell staff (Carlos) was friendly. Check-in time is 3pm, and they stuck to that. We used the facilities until the room (Junior suite) was ready.
The room was large and spacious (2212) for a family of four. We had an extra bed, AND a crib, and had plenty of room. There was not enough space to put all of our clothes though, so we lived out of our suitcases. The bathroom was nice, but had some crazy soap dish with holes that made the soap and water drip to the floor. The minibar had 2 light beers, water, and two soft drinks, daily. Don't drink the tap water. The beds were fine. We had a balcony and a view of the ocean and pool. Our AC worked great. They use the energy saving card system where you must put your room key in to run the electricity. The safe cost an extra 13 bucks US, and wifi for the room was an extra $20 for the week, which was definitely not worth it. The connection was horrible, but in their defense, they did mention this before I purchased the wifi for the week. Finally, there was a desk area for those crazy enough to do work while on vacation, however don't expect the wifi to reach to the desk.
Food: the food was varied, and there were enough options to choose from. Even with picky children, there was still enough to eat. They had 4 reservation restaurants and we only used the Ocean Grill. The food was very good there.
Drink: this is not top-shelf liquor, but you can purchase some various liquors for about 7 bucks a bottle like you get on the airplane. Anyone who says they cannot find something to drink did not read their drink menu, nor ask for the bartenders drink of the day. I drink Jack Daniels, but that was obviously nowhere in sight. My suggestion is to purchase a duty free bottle before you get there if you must have "your drink".
Service: service was good. Mostly everyone was friendly. Obviously, if you tip early, you'll get better service as your trip goes on.
Housekeeping was great.
Entertainment: they had a kids club that keep my little girl very busy all day. The staff there was very friendly, and I had no problem keeping my child with them. Half the time I was playing volleyball and didn't even know my kid wasn't around! lol
The entertainment team works hard with various events throughout the day. Supertino will keep you laughing with his "ha ha ha ha ha" Woody Woodpecker laugh.
They had daily evening shows and a manager's cocktail party that was really nice. I personally liked this part because I am a professor of hotel management.
The evening shows had a different theme and had some very good dancers trying their best to entertain everyone. Personally, I find that these shows are all the same wherever you go, but my daughter loved this one.
There was other things to do, some which were free for an hour (bicycle rental, parasailing, scuba), just to give you a taste. They had a basketball course, two pool tables and a ping pong table.
Beach: to me, this beach is not pretty. Vendors wait at the edge of the property to try to sell you everything under the sun. The beach got VERY windy in the afternoon, so if you are going to go, go early. There are some huts that you can get, but just like every other place like this, people scoop them up early.
Pool: the pools were clean (including the small children's pool) and there is a swim-up bar that closes at 6. The pool closes at 7. They had a volleyball net, and the deepest point was no more than 5 feet. On the weekends, it gets really busy and there is less room to play. There was also a quiet pool, complete with Tiki bar if you didn't want to get involved with the daily shenanigans.
Gift shops: the gift shops were small, but reasonably priced for a resort. Water was about 2 bucks and the souvenirs we not overpriced at all. There was a beauty parlor as well, but we didn't use that.
All in all this is a very solid resort that has many of the same amenities you will find in a Caribbean resort. There was nothing that really stood out as great, but certainly nothing that would make me tell someone not to stay there. It was WELL worth the money, in my opinion. I find some of the postings about "letting in the locals" kind of ridiculous. YES, it will get ten times busier, but these are Dominicans that are enjoying a weekend away, just as someone from NY might do when they go to the Jersey Shore.
Anyway, if you decide to put your vacation money here, you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the ocean are quieter.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Kingsborough D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014 via mobile

The resort was a lot of fun. The pool and swim up bar were great. Even though the alcohol isn't top shelf they offered very good drinks. Food was good variety local foods and western foods. No rush no lines a d of course all inclusive so that always makes things easier to try. Rooms were nice mini bar is a small mini frig with a jug of water 2 sodas and we beers. Only negative is that the beach is crazy windy at all times. For the best beach fun grab a taxi to a local beach.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
1  Thank Vaca_fam_3
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:
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £77 - £267 (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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