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“my favorite stay to date”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“my favorite stay to date”
Reviewed 27 April 2009

i just arrived home this morning from the gran ventana resort.My wife and 2 kids and our friends loved it .food,staff rooms were excellent i can't complain about a single thing except when it was time to go home.i highly recommend this resort for families with small children the staff have lots of activities for them.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
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3 Thank luggage43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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sheffield
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2009

Travelled to the Gran Ventana with First Choice from the 13th - 29th December 2008. The flight was easy going, relaxing and stress free. Upon arrival we were greated with Cocktails and located to a sea view room.

Rooms: The rooms were basic, had everything you needed and were very clean. There was only one fault i had with the room and that was the lighting, apart from that everything else was fine, in all fairness we hardly spent any time in the room.

Beach & Pools: The beach was beutiful, i can honestly say the pics don't do it enough justice, the Gran Ventana had the best stretch of beach. The pools were great, you've got aqua aerobics taking place twice a day and music playing, its great fun but very relaxing. You do get beach vendors wanting to sell their goods, but if you just say no thanks politely they'll leave you alone.

Food: The food was great, they had a wide variety of food everyday and had something to suit everyone. The A La Carte restaurants were great especially the Italian and Ocean Grill, wern't to keen on the Octopus. I would advice you to book in advanced to secure your booking.

Staff: The staff were so polite and helpful, anything you needed they were there to help. They are all so positive and have a great attitude towards things. The staff from the excursions are also lovely and outgoing.

Animation Team: The entertainment is low key as they do say in the brochure but i would say it is very amuzing. The animation team are there all day and throuout the evening they are so welcomming and friendly, even if you don't want to take part you will still have a great time. The playback show was hilarious and haves you laughing all night, they have dancing and karaoke and anyone is welcome to take part. You will have a great laugh.

I would definately recommend this hotel and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank YorkshireLass0943
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
england
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2009

hotel is a good 3 star perhaps not quite a four star. staff are very good and friendly
buffet food was good. a la carte's were very good and happy to accomadate children.
rooms were ok but could do with some updating. stayed in the beata building, very nice but could be a bit noisy into the early hours with the roadway club just over the other side of the complex fence. both pools are great but lots of people out at the crack of dawn reserving beds and shades. kids club is very handy, kept my 3 out of the sun and busy for a couple of hours each day. sharon even delivered kids back to us at pool when they wanted a swim. beach is great. lots of reefs close in, great for snorkeling and feeding fish by hand. water mostly calm protected by reefs especially at low tide. Please be warned about the taxi service outside the hotel. They will insist that a guide come with you but if you know exactly where you want to go you do not need the guide.. Firstly he will charge you for this extra service at the end of the journey, secondly he takes up seating which we needed as we were a family of 6 in a 7 seater but most importantly he will take you on a 4 hour tour of the local petrol station, chemist, and anything else of non interest but will stop alongthe way to make sure you get out to give local people tips for the peasure of getting out somewhere you didnt want to be in the first place. we found everything to be extremeley ove priced and they make up their exchange rate as they go along. would strongly reccomend that you bring both dollars and pesos.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank anklebitersrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redcar
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2009

We have just returned from a fabulous holiday at the Gran Ventana. It was a clean, spacious hotel, with great facilities and excellent for all ages.

The entrance/reception area is beautiful with loungers and beds on which to relax. Staff were very helpful and friendly. The pool areas are well maintained and are scrubbed almost daily ensuring that they are spotless at all times.

The Italian, Seafood and Grill restaurants are fantastic and you get to use these once per week for each one however the buffet also has an excellent choice and we couldn't fault it except for the fact that sausage and bacon are never quite the same on holiday!! Waiters are helpful and soon clear away plates.

The entertainment team have so much energy and do their best to put on evening shows, however they are not professionals but this sometimes makes them more entertaining.

Rooms were clean, cleaned daily and towels changed, they could do with updating a little but we were happy with it. We didn't use the mini bar so unsure of prices but it was only stocked with water and soft drinks anyway. Not really any need to buy them as the bar was always open. We always felt safe and happy knowing that security around the hotel was good and the room safe was ok. The nearby shopping centre was VERY expensive and we ran out of aftersun and it cost almost $20 for a cheap one. Make sure that you take everything you need.

Excursions were excellent but VERY expensive. We booked all through the rep but we would have got a beter deal with some of the beach/plaza sellers but we didn't dare take the risk.

Overall a fantastic holiday and would definitely return to that hotel.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank RedcarMarske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 April 2009

I just came back today, was sad to leave. Went with a friend I used to work with, she was in her 50's, I am in my 30's. We both enjoyed it but have similar thoughts on the place. Check in was fast and friendly as others have said. Room had two twin beds which were comfortable - the pillows were in the closet and were also fine. The key turns on the electricity so the air conditioner only works when you are in the room. This was not a problem for us. The room was kept clean by the maid. The bathroom was only stocked with two bath towels. They were barely big enough to cover you, so for two people who want to get ready quickly, this was a bit more difficult. I also have long hair and needed two of those bath size towels but had to make do with the one towel. The toilet should be modernized as they use too much water. The sink began to get clogged mid-week as did the bathtub. You should bring your own shampoo/conditioner/soap, etc.
The mini-bar in the room only had one beer, one pepsi, one 7-up and one 1 gallon of water. Later in the week we saw lots of fruit baskets and rum being sent to rooms - found out if you are repeat guests to this resort you receive one of these. Nice touch!

The beach was nice. On the first day realized not much area to actually swim except there is a small spot to the very right end of the hotel beach, past the little creek. It is clear there, still can't go too far in as there is lots of seaweed but I was able to swim back and forth in the turquoise area there. Would be good if they could clean up some of that seaweed so there would be a larger tourqoise, clear area. I liked that it was protected from too many waves as I prefer the calm & clear. The other issue is that there are not enough shaded areas / huts on the beach. Again, the spot past the creek is your best chance to find a hut if you go in the morning. Most days it either rained at some point or did become too windy by the afternoon so we went to the main or quiet pool then. Did not swim in the main pool as it is actually not that big and always pretty busy. But I did find I could do my laps (a little bit of exercise!) in the quiet pool. At 3pm the animation team starts the afternoon activities by the main pool.. first a little welcome dancing, then a dance lesson, bingo, etc. They also had activities in the morning.

I did walk on the beach to the right and saw a couple of other resorts. Their beach was more wavy and murky then ours. However, I can't comment on the left side as I did not walk that way (I believe Grand Paradise was to the left of us). We also did not take any tours but did venture into Puerto Plata one day. I would suggest not going, what you find at the shopping plaza within the complex has everything you need at pretty much the same prices. The market we saw in town was not good. I wouldn't spend the extra travel or tour money to go out of the complex. One day at the resort, there are vendors who display their jewellery, and other items for you to browse at your leisure as well. We saw many making purchases this way. We did not buy anything from the vendors on the beach only because we did not see anything we wanted... be prepared to haggle! I also saw many people going for the massages and pedicures being offered here.

The food was the usual buffet offerings but maybe a little more choice than usual. You could always find something and when I didn't feel like any of the meat options I saw and tried the spagetti with just some fresh grated parmesan cheese it was delicious! for dessert our favourite was always the creme caramel! (the plain version). We did eat at the Octopus, The Grill, and the Italian restaurants - one night each - and all were good.

The nightly entertainment was the usual mediocre fair but the staff do try hard to involve the audience. They are great with the kids!! The resort is well organized with managers always monitoring their staff. Very clean and service was great. Its not that large a resort which might be more appealing to some people. I think just over 500 rooms total. Our room was in the Catalina building and the walk to the beach was nothing, very close.

Overall we had a great time just relaxing and not thinking about work! I do wish I could have had a couple more days and hope that tour agencies will offer a 10 day all inclusive plan soon!! We went with Sunwing and it was great. The plane service was often and plentiful. First drinks and snack, hot towel, good lunch including wine if you wanted, a a chocolate mint.. all in about a 3-4 hour ride from Toronto. Included a movie and free earphones too.The only thing was that our flight times changed from original booking and on the way there we had to do a stopover in Punta Cana and get out of the plane for a short period. It was well organized though and we re-loaded quickly, picked up returning passengers and went on to Puerto Plata.

I would recommend this resort and I might be going back some time hopefully! There is internet service for $3 every half hour. No wireless though.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ayluh70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scotland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2009

The flight passed quicker than i expected with a number of films and games on the seat back entertainment. I had plenty of magazines & books to keep me occupied. One thing I'd like to mention about landing at Puerto Plata airport there is a steep left hand turn before landing. As we left the airport a Thomson rep was there to meet us with our welcome pack & details for our rep meeting in the morning which was a nice touch. Beware of the 'porters' in the airport as they basically try to take your bags to the bus for you and demand a tip and when you get to the bus there is a guy there lifting your bags on for you anyway.
We arrived at the Gran Ventana after a 20 min bus transfer from Puerto Plata airport. The bus journey was pleasant with our rep giving us basic information about the area.
We got off the bus and were instructed to leave our luggage and go and check in which i was a bit dubious about.
Check in was very smooth indeed and was carried out very professionally by the competent hotel staff. We got a safe key as had been advised on trip advisor, this cost us $16. In my opinion well worth it simply for piece of mind when out of the room.
We walked to our room past the pool and was encouraged by first impressions.
Upon arrival into our room we gave it the once over, the television didn't work, which after investigation i discovered a loose aerial connection. I rang reception to report and someone arrived the following morning to fix it. We hardly watched TV because the weather was so good and we didnt want to waste our time sitting in the room.
Our first day was a very long one so come 1700 (Dominican time) we did not have a lot of energy to do anything apart from grab a quick shower and a bite to eat, (We had been up since 2300 dominican time the previous day!!).
We went for a meal and found the food to be of excellent quality! I am normally very fussy with international food but was glad the reports i'd read were correct and the food was as good as had been mentioned. This continued throughout the holiday and a very varied menu to choose from each time we went for food. It is essential any one visiting takes advantage of the a la carte restaurants, these were absolutely amazing! The best was the italian followed by the ocean grill followed by the dominican in my opinion.
We attended the rep meeting in the morning, they gave us invaluable knowledge about the resort. Excellent to have your mind put at rest by people who have worked there for about 12yrs combined. After the information delivery they gave out the sales pitch about trips on the island. I wish i had taken a bit more cash as these trips do look the business! Swimming with dolphins, jungle safari, tour of the local area, as i said i'd have loved to have given them a go; I'll know for next time! One thing i'd like to advise is these trips are available by local vendors on the beach, i'd heard reports they had been stood up by the people who'd sold them the trips, however in the plaza which is literally 5 mins down the road out of the security barrier (which is extremely safe to venture out of) there are slighty cheaper prices by $10-25 on average so worth a look rather than just buying Thompson's own as the ones in the Plaza are situated there all the time unlike the beach vendors who take your money and run (possibly)?
Basically we sunbathed a lot during the day and had a few quiet drinks at night watching the entertainment.
The entertainment team are excellent as they try to involve everyone in the activities and there are lots to choose from and keep everyone busy during the day.
At night there are different entertainment shows which i can imagine getting slighty monotonous if i had been for two weeks as it is the same dances night after night... 10/10 for effort and energy..
The worst part of the trip was leaving this place and i'd certainly recommend this hotel to anyone. I will return but things I'd do different would be go on more trips and find varying things to do at night rather than stay in the one hotel. We did venture out the casino on our last night but not to be advised if your other half hasn't got a clue how to play any games......
I would also advise everyone to get out and about on the beach for the all inclusive activites, snorkelling, canoeing, windsurfing, just speak to the guy in the white hut for your equipment and also to venture out to the Plaza (shopping centre). Be aware of con men in the plaza who try and completely rip you off. I went for a plug socket adaptor which was 100 pesos in the shop behind the guy that tried to say he could get me one from Puerto Plata, which he would have to drive to, for 5000 pesos. Luckily I had an idea the value of the peso and that he was asking for about a hundred GBP!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank der3k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newfoundland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2009

Back today and I read at least 100 of these reviews beforehand. Here's the 'skinny'...
Service-overall fine - requests were seen to promptly; Bartenders, maids, restaurant staff were attentive and generous- 1$ tip goes a long way. The airport is basic as is the service and friendliness of staff there.
Rooms- we had adjoining rooms for teenage boys; the decor, towels and linens were tired but clean. A/C worked well but make sure your balcony door is shut tight or the AC won't work.
Entertainment- we got a kick out of the Michael Jackson impersonator. Cuban dance group also good. Other shows were a bit silly. there seemed to be things to do for kids aged 5-11 but nothing for teens. the 'animation' guys had lots of energy and were a highlight of the trip. Pool was lovely and always a game of volleyball going on.
Beach-we enjoyed the snorkelling-plenty of fish to see. We didn't bother with the watersports and I noticed others did not partake. The beach vendors were a pain but just say 'no, gracias'.
Food- hot stuff was hot and cold was cold. Plenty of choice which was good for the kids. We tried most of the local dishes. we ate at the Italian restaurant but was too formal for us and the food not that great. I heard the Ocean Grill was the best.
Excursions- we did Paradise Island which was worth it. I heard generally positive comments about dolphin encounter and outback safari.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HappyinNL
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 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic 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
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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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