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“Good hotel, too bad it's in Dominican Republic!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Quebec
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Good hotel, too bad it's in Dominican Republic!”
Reviewed 16 April 2009

Good hotel and clean rooms. Beach is all right and food is pretty good. Excellent service. Some drunken dominican guy came in a room at 6 AM and security never showed up, even when calling them several times. Our luggage got ripped off at the airport, steeling jewels (even those bought locally) clothes and perfum. Overall, this trip costed me $1,000 more than planned because of the crimials living there. No wonder they don't ask for a passeport when you go there, it's to allow more criminals into the country so that they can learn more tricks!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sphynx666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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fredericton, n.b.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2009

Really enjoyed this hotel. This was my first trip to the DR, and after having visited Cuba many times, I was struck by the higher level of service we received at the Gran Ventana. Staff really hustled, and we never waited for anything. The entire resort was extremely clean, with the exception of our room, which was just ok. Floors were washed and beds made, but the crumbs on the night table remained there all week, and the glasses in the bathroom were never cleaned. Pretty minor stuff. The room was quite small by the usual resort standards, but I found the bed super comfortable, tv worked, balcony was quite a good size ... never had one unwanted "visitor" .. all in all it was just fine. The shower was pretty tempermental though .. just never knew what to expect whenever we turned it on!
Food in my opinion was very good. We really enjoyed all three a la cartes, and the reservation process was painless. The buffet offered a fair amount of choice. Great smoothies in the mornings, very good soups at night. We never ate in the buffet at lunch as we couldn't tear ourselves away from the beach, lol. Burgers at the beach grille were HUGE, and the grilled fish was great. The beach itself was nice, better than some I have seen and not as nice as others. You could walk forever though, and we really enjoyed that. The pool was .. well .. a pool. Extremely clean though. Be aware that the "towel game" is played here by many. If you want a prime shade spot at either the pool or the beach, you will have to put your towel on a chair by about 7:00 a.m. They actually give you a note at check in advising that reserving chairs is against the rules and wil be dealt with accordingly, but I think that's about as far as they took it.
It's a quiet resort at night when the entertainment ends. Bars close at midnight, with the exception of the hot dog cart where you can get beer or rum until two. So if you are a night owl, this resort is not for you. The animacion staff appeared to be only guys .. first time I have seen this at a resort ... but they were all very friendly and they really tried hard with the evening entertainment. Some of the audience participation shows were really funny.
I totally agree with previous posts about the use of the small plastic glasses. I can see using them at the pool and beach, but in the evening in the lobby, I would really have liked to have my drink in a NICE GLASS.
We took the local bus on the highway outside of the Playa Dorada complex, and visited Soshua, which was a neat little place. We found the people really friendly and helpful, but did get a little weary of the constant barrage of plans, sales, deals and schemes designed to separate you from your dollars, lol. However, everyone is just trying to make a living ...
We would definitely return to the DR, would return to this resort, and would recommend it to others. It was great value for the price we paid.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank che
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

Booked everything via JetBlue and got a great price, plus the JetBlue agent made sure we got the room we wanted (ocean view, quiet building, 2nd floor). Food was pretty good, although the lunches were better than dinner. The beach was beautiful. It's a bit rough for swimming - lots of reefs at low tide but they're covered with sand and plants - but it was fun to find our own "swimming hole" among the reefs. There were vendors on the beach but they weren't obnoxious like they are in some resort areas. It's a very mellow scene, great for relaxing and vegging out. Beautiful scenery. We had to wait a bit for our room to be readied when we checked in, but it was always very clean and neat. The clerk at the main desk was a bit cold but otherwise the staff were great, especially Pablo in the swim-up bar. Beware of booking anything with Coco Tours. We arranged our round-trip transportation to and from the airport and on the return leg they didn't give us enough time to get to the airport so we took a cab (but JetBlue got us a refund). Also their day tour is a bit unpleasant, crammed into a tiny bus and shuttled around to various shops. Oh well, at least the shops were local, not chain stores. All round, very nice.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SpecialK718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Herts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2009

Spent a week here in early April. The hotel staff are cheerful, friendly and helpful and cleanliness is almost obsessive. Good variety of food and drink avaialble and service was consistently good. Nice beach and public areas. All in all I cannot really fault this hotel at all.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GANDLHerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
uk
Level Contributor
62 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2009

Travellers two sisters, booked with First Choice.

The flight was ok the usual moans and groans mainly about the lenght of flight.
The airport was manic...$10pp on entry and forms to complete there is also a $20 pp charge and more forms when you leave!
Loads of porters ready to grab cases so be quick!
We had a small coach that was ideal for a class of 5 yr olds very cramped but good enough cases did go on the roof though!
Arrival at hotel was swift and first impressions very nice.
Room was on 3rd floor in Saona building, did smell quite musty and abit dated.
No tea or coffee facilities in room which was a bit of a pain as 3 flights of stairs and a walk to coffee station!!
Room safe available but will charge you 1000 pesos (about £20) this is a must as some ppl had "lost" passports etc.
Bathrooms were adaquate although the bath is extremely small and the plug is a small lever on the overflow which you pull up!! We tried to sort this for days before we found it!
The lighting in the rooms in not very good so if you need to tweeze the odd eyebrow do it daylight on the balconey!
The hotel do not tell you that you can purchase a plug............. which you can for hair straightners and phone chargers the hotel shop sell them for about 295 peso or the plaza stock them for 125 peso. Very cross with this as the hotel will charge phones etc at a cost.
There is no room service at this hotel.
Internet is available for 75 peso for 29 mins.
Mini bar is stocked with 1 7up 1 pepsi and 2 beers and a jug of water.
The food in the buffet is very nice clean and hot. The desserts wellllllll yum! The coffee bar by the pool turns into a hot dog stand at midnight this is the only snacks available after the buffet closes at 10pm.

The trips... well loads available we did 3 the dominican night, the outback safari and the dune buggy up mount isabella.

Dom night.... starts with a long journey round PP (puerto plata) shows how bad things are there. Drinks stop at the fort which would have been nice bar the kids begging and trying to sell stuff. You finish the evening with a meal at a rest owned by a canadian lady called Denise the meal was lovely but we did feel unsafe as lots of ppl hanging around.

Outback Safari.... good fun but be warned this is an all day trip. Ruddy was our guide and was very informative. We did feel the Dom house and the school was very staged and did not like this part where ppl readily took pictures of the children. The food was very nice at the cafe and then you get to have your photo taken with a baby croc. We refused our pic as there was over 80 ppl and the croc was passed from one to another whilst its jaws were taped. There are other animals a large iguana which is in a small enclosure with no water or shade the same is true of the large croc again no water!!
You then get on a rickety old boat and go down a river i got botten a few times. They have children staged along the bank holding various creatures spiders and snakes, this is only a short part of the trip. The visit to the plantation is nice but beaware of spiders and bugs overhead. The Jessica river was nice but the current is very strong the same for the boggie boarding which is a beautiful beach but very rough water. We would not do this trip again!

The last trip we did was dune buggy riding.... Well it was a fantastic trip. Lasted from about 9am till 1 ish. Prepare to get wet and dirty!!! If you do this trip book through the hotel, well worth the money. Wont tell you too much as its worth doing so go enjoy!

We took a trip to the amber museum via a taxi that parks inside the hotel barrier..... what a nightmare! The museum was not worth it! It has a few displays is very dark and you are alone in the house. It is in a VERY rough area! We were not happy but asked to go to the factory where we could buy some Larimar amber. The guide from the taxi walked us through the streets which was not ideal considering the neighbourhood. We arrived at the factory to find it was very overpriced and the men with guns in the shop were off putting. We asked to go back to the hotel and he took us to his family shop and left us there untill we bought something which again was VERY overpriced.

The plaza.... some nice shops try the friends coffee shop fab coffee and nice food which is very reasonable if you fancy a change. You do get hassled from sellers but a no thank you usually does the trick. Most of the sellers are trying to sell trips... we told them we booked via the hotel. The coco bongo club we were advised of the the robberys and the prostitution in the club so we never went! The best place to buy Larimar is probably in the plaza at Harrisons. Very nice quality!

The staff at the hotel work very hard and are always willing to help. There is a guard in each building which makes you feel safe as the beach is a public one and a short path from the rooms. The beach is beautiful and has a lovely cool breeze from midday we spent most of our days on the beach as pool area was extremely hot. The sellers on the beach are ok they do ask but dont hassle you.

We didnt try the al a cartes as the buffet was very nice and we ate with friends we meet some nights we were told by others that the octopus and italian were very nice.

I would not recommend this hotel for ppl who are young female and travelling in small numbers. The men are freindly in the hotel but do take some nerves to get away from outside the premises, if taking young girls beaware of the potential for some troubles if venturing out!

If travelling as an adult party or older ppl you may want to request the beata building as the others do get very loud untill quite late with the shows and the pool area is loud during the day. The beata building has a bar and a pool so maybe more suitable.

Loved the hotel and staff! Would go back but with hubby next time

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank keshoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2009

We travelled with our four children the week of March 29 to Gran Ventana. Enjoyed 7 days of sunshine and had a fabulous time there. We stayed in the Catalina building in two rooms and were impressed by the cleanliness . The food in the buffet and 3 restaurants was beyond our expectations. This is an excellent resort at an affordable price, we would recommend it and hope to return again. M. Green , Canada

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank crazy_mama_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Bay, on
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2009

My wife and I stayed at the hotel for a week from the 23rd of march to the 2nd of April, what a great spot! The staff were very accomodating and friendly and the hotel was spotless. I don't know how you can write anything bad about this place.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Louie72
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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 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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