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“Great Resort!”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #6 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Resort!”
Reviewed 21 April 2009

This was my very first all inclusive vacation, so i didn't know what to expect but had a great time!!

Service - The workers here work extremely hard to satisfy their guests. Always very helpful and very fast.

Rooms - Very basic but clean. You have everything you need. Maids did a fabulous job. Sometimes they ran out of towels, but the maids would come back as soon as there were fresh clean towels. They appreciate gifts and will stock your fridge up with as much beer and drinks as it can hold. The only thing i have to complain about is the showers! No pressure what so ever, and you have to keep moving the shower top around to get the water to come out better. At least the water was HOT! If not, it would have been horrible.

Beach/Pool - Loved the pool very clean and the bartender at the swim up bar was awesome! Very generous with the amount of alcohol. The quiet pool was very quiet but didn't use it. The beach is beautiful, however there is a lot of reefs, and the water is quite shallow. When the tide is low you can walk out on to it. Not really that great for swimming, but great for a little snorkelling. We saw some cool fish. What we did was, walked about 10 minutes to the left where some of the other resorts were where the beach was beautiful!!!!!! The were no reefs and it was great for swimming!! the waves were so much fun!!!! The beach vendors were kind of annoying, but a no thanks usually did the trick.

Food - The buffet was pretty good. Although by the end of the week I got a little sick of the food. Doesn't change too much from day to day. A la cartes - We ate at the italian and the octopus twice. (our oceanview reservation on the last night got canceled due to a wedding and they were very accommodating and booked us another dinner at the octopus). The Italian was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. The Octopus was AMAZING!!!! The meat was so moist the appetizers were amazing! the fresh bread!! Everything about it was amazing!! Probably the best Salmon I have ever had!!

Entertainment - The entertainment is not very professional, but I have to say these performers put 100% effort into everything they do. They were quite hilarious too!!! The performers also did activities during the day and ran the water aerobics. They work so hard and some of them you saw every day! I wonder how often they get a day off?!

Day trips - We didn't end up doing any of the trips just because it was extremely expensive and our trip was a pretty last minute decision, and didn't have much money to spend as we are full time students. Talking to a fellow traveler who did the outback safari said it was an amazing experience. We walked around Playa Dorada, which was quite nice. The disco is a five minute walk but didn't open til pretty late. The crowds didn't seem to show up until around 12. There are a bunch of souvenir shops. Although beware the vendors in playa dorada are pretty demanding, much more than the beach.

Overall, I would definitely come back here, but maybe not for a while just because I want to experience different places first. It was very relaxing, and a very small quiet resort!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank beachtraveller999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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sinyuhkjing
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2009

My husband and I stayed for a week. At the front desk although we requested a king bed, he said they gave us double beds and wouldn't give us king, My husband slipped him a $10 bill and soon we had our king bed. It was away from the entertainment and very clean and quiet. The resort was awesome. The only thing that wasn't that great was the entertainment but we met other couples there and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The food at the three a la carte restaurants was awesome and the food overall was very good. Lots of variety.

Everything was kept very clean. The maid service was awesome and although they didn't speak English, they were very attentive to any requests we made. We had conflicting viewpoints with respect to booking excursions...our representative said don't go through the people at the plaza, book through the hotel but that may be because they want to make money from you at the hotel. We and friends that we met booked through the Plaza (cheaper too) and had a great time on everything. We found that the prices at the Plaza were sometimes comparable to bartering with the peddlers and we found it to be extremely tiresome after a while to bargain with them as they always started with an outrageous bid and then ended up what you would pay back home.

We had a great experience. We took a taxi around the town and our tour guide was excellent. I would recommend bringing a suitcase of things for the kids while on your excursions you stop at some schools and drive by poorer areas and we requested to go to an orphanage and gave them our things. There is so much poverty there it is very sad especially to see the kids living that way.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank sinyuhkjing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2009

Our week at the Gran Ventana was one of the best overall vacations we've taken, and we've been to many different places. Our family, including a 17 yr old and a 12 year old, have not stopped talking about what a great time we had. Surprised, but not many Americans??!!?? What a hidden gem we found!!! The location from the airport was good, maybe a 20 min ride. Check in was quick, and included a refreshing cold drink. We had rooms side by side, and were both very clean. Small problem with the toilet on the first day, but was resolved within the hour. They staff kept the room clean and stocked. The Catalina block was the perfect location for us. Food at the buffet was very good, we could always find something good to eat. the Octopus Restaurant was good. The Italian was ok, would probably just eat at the buffet next time, and we did not make it to the Ocean Grill. We never waited for a table at any restaurant. The bar staff was always attentive, and we were especially fond of Pablo at the swim up bar, he was quick, cortious, and great with the kids..he loves baseball! Speaking of the pool, it was spotless, the pool deck was clean everyday and completely scrubbed a few times a week. We get up early, so we went down early to get chairs...and they do go early! The beach was very nice, and we walked both directions every day and snorkeled and swam, but never really sat. The sellers are not aggressive, a simple "no gracias" sent them away. The entertainment staff certainly put a lot of effort into it, the kids really enjoyed them. We definitely plan on returning!!! It was the perfect relaxing, sun loving vacation, thank you. Tripadvisor's reviews did not let us down.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank NPNYtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2009

Just returned from one of the most relaxing 2 week holidays we have ever had - something I wasn't expecting to say considering we took our 2 daughters ages 6 & 8!!!

On arrival we were greeted by the extremely helpful and friendly reception staff and directed to our room in the Catalina block (recommended by a previous review and requested when booked holiday at the Travel Agent). Room is basic but clean, only criticism was that there could have been a bit more storage for our clothes - the girls ended up living out of their suitcases. Nice touch on the first night was a phone call from the Reception Manager to check that we had settled into the room and that everything was satisfactory. Your fridge is replenished every morning with water, pepsi, 7up and beer - our fridge stopped working in our 2nd week but after reporting the problem to reception on our way to dinner a brand new fridge had been installed by the time we returned to the room.

Food was excellent - Was quite nervous to begin with as our youngest daughter is extremely fussy but she tried more foods than she ever has done before and in the end we only decided to try one of the A La Carte Restaurants - Ocean Grill which was also excellent.

Bar Staff extremely friendly and quite heavy handed with the rum so beware!!

Swimming pool was cleaned every morning and the entertainment staff were very friendly and quite amusing to watch - Pool Aerobics twice a day and volleyball - The staff will ask you if you want to join in but put you under no pressure. We were away for the Easter holidays so were expecting the pool to be busy but there was still plenty of room to relax on the lilo without being disturbed. A word of warning though - the hotel rule of removing any towels put down to reserve sunbeds is not followed - after 2 days of abiding to this rule we got fed up of everyone else ignoring the rule so joined the masses in the early hours of the morning to reserve our sunbeds!

Kids club - our girls weren't interested, they just wanted to swim all day long - they did go along to the easter egg decorating on Good Friday which they enjoyed but I think the club was more aimed towards the younger ones.

Beach was clean and although you are approached by sellers a simple no is accepted and they move onto the next person.

Beauty Salon - Decided to treat myself to a pedicure ($19) - It was an experience that I wouldn't repeat. Both members of staff barely spoke English which I didn't have a problem with but they spoke to each other throughout my treatment, laughing etc which I thought was quite rude. Also considering I had only had a pedicure back at home the day before our holiday she took no prisoners when it came to my feet and it wasn't the relaxing treament I was hoping for!

Evening Entertainment was described as low key in the brochure and thats what you got. Childrens evening entertainment starts at 8pm and is the same every night apart from Movie Nights - as an adult it was the worst half hour of the day but the kids loved it so can't really complain. The main entertainment started at 9.30 every night and would be different every day however we struggled to keep the girls awake after a day of swimming and sun it was just too late for them.

Our only disappointing day was our last day - We were pleased that we did not have to vacate the room until 12.20 which was ideal as our airport pick up was at 13.20 so we had planned our last morning of swimming, shower, lunch and then airport only to wake up to a problem with the pool which did not open until 11.30 so our mermaids were not happy.

Overall excellent holiday - would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank dc1708
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quebec
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
fredericton, n.b.
Level 4 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 4 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
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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 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 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
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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