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“All inclusive resort at a great price” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #3 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“All inclusive resort at a great price”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2011

Icame here with some friends not knowing much of what to expect. I walked into the main entrance was shocked at how nice it really was! There are several pools, even one with a bar to swim up to. There was also a nice gym, serveral restaurants to eat at, a few bars, even tables to play table tennis. The resort was right on the beach, which was beautiful. There was also a stage where they played live music at night. It was so great to pay one reasonable price and have all the food, drinks, and entertainment included. The rooms were average, nothing special. They were large, clean, and the basic ammenities. Unfortunately they did not have free wifi. Overall, it was a great deal considering everything was included in the price and I would recommend this to anyone visiting Puerto Plata.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kris V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2011

Seriously, BEDS ARE LIKE A ROCK... if you have any medical issues, where sleeping on an extra firm bed will cause you pain/ problems, think twice about this resort. It took me 4 painful nights to resolve the issue. Front desk was not very helpful...in a way they let their resort down.

Eventually, our tour rep. stepped in, and got a roll-away bed for me to sleep on...it was heaven, after the bedrock bed!

Apart from the bed issue, the resort was small, but nice, friendly staff, very clean, food is okay, the a la carte restaurants were the best. Food in the buffet restaurant was plentiful, but the preparation was hit and miss.

I found the vendors on the beach friendly and entertaining...they would leave you alone if you just smile and say no thank you.

We enjoyed our stay, would we go back? Not without an air mattress :)

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Allie18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
256 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 326 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2011

We visited the Gran Ventana Resort from Feb 3 – 10, 2011. We were a party of six, my husband, myself, our 13 and 15 yr olds and my parents. Just as some reference on myself, I have travelled extensively throughout Mexico and Cuba at many all-inclusives. This was our first time in the Dominican Republic.

About 14 days before we left I emailed the resort and asked for 3 rooms all in a row, in either the Saona or Catalina buildings with an ocean view on the 2nd or 3rd floor.

We arrived around 5:30pm to a very quick professional and friendly check-in, along with an ice-cold welcome drink. We were very happy to find out that we got exactly what we requested; 3 rooms, all in a row, 2nd floor Saona building, ocean view. Just to clarify, there are no real direct ocean view rooms here, as you either face the pool/walk way area or garden area and have a sideways view of the ocean. Obviously, we were very happy. The superior room was exceptionally clean, spacious, with a very large bathroom with tub and shower. Mini-bar comes stocked with soda, beer and 4 litre sealed purified water jug. Yes, the mattresses are on the firm side, but we didn’t find them too bad. We rented a safe lock for $18 usd for one week.

The beach is absolutely the best in the area. It is very wide and sandy and the snorkeling is wonderful just straight out in front of the resort. The snorkeling gear is free for one hour use, as well as other items such as the kayaks. Just turn right and walk to the shack one or two minutes down the beach and sign out the gear there. You can also sign up for banana boating there. It is normally $40 for 4 people, but you can get it for $30 for 4 people by asking. It was a blast! We spent most of our time at the beach, but did spent a bit at the pool, as by late afternoon the beach would get really windy on a few of the days. We never reserved chairs with towels at all and we never had a problem at all finding chaises for the 6 of us. We wouldn’t normally get a palapa hut, but it didn’t matter because there was tons of shade if we wanted it by the palm trees. Later on, people would leave their palapas and then we would use them. Same thing by the pool, we never had trouble finding chaises.

Lots and lots of vendors. Entertaining for sure. They always respond to a simple “no gracias”. They all have numbered shirts to identify themselves. I highly recommend #72 – Pedro if you are interested in jewelry. He is soft spoken, older and a new grandfather. He is a very nice person who will give you a fair deal in the end. He spent a lot of time with us, saved pieces that we wanted in an envelope, gave us free things, taught my daughter Spanish. He was so nice and patient. Watch out for him, it will be worth your while. He carries a crème coloured case. Get him a drink of water from the bar for me. Tell him Hannah from Canada says hi. You can also go to the orange market by going out to the beach and turning left and walking about 20 minutes. The original prices there are laughable, you must negotiate hard but there is lots of nice stuff there. I prefer to do my shopping in a chaise though.

The food was very good. We are vegetarians and we could always find something. There is tons of choice at the buffets and the snack bar at the beach has a surprising array of things, for instance cheeseburgers, hotdogs, chicken wings, bbq chicken, wraps, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, soups, nachos, fries. The breakfast buffet is outstanding with the made to order omelets and eggs and smoothie bar. Freshly made waffles, and loads of fresh fruit. The lunch and dinner buffets has ever changing items as well as standards. I really enjoyed the salads and the pasta bar, with several pastas and sauces. For the a la carte restaurants, you go to the Beata building between 8am to noon each day and make your reservations. I would recommend doing that the first day you are there. I was pleased to see that every a la carte has 2 vegetarian entrée choices per restaurant, as well as veg choices for appetizers too. The table service and atmosphere was very nice.

The entertainment was very good. The animation staff tries very hard and works long long hours. They always got my teens involved in beach and pool volleyball, which they really enjoyed and my 15 yr old always went to the 5 pm bingo! We went to most 9:30 shows and the magic show is by far the best, it was incredible. We had our mouth hanging open the whole time! A couple of the shows were more amateurish, but we appreciated the effort.

The staff and service in every way was outstanding. Every effort was made to please us. Staff was constantly cleaning, pruning, working, organizing and serving. I never felt any pressure to tip or felt that anyone got better service because they tipped. Staff was always smiling and saying “hola” when passing. 4 Internet stations available as well as wi-fi in lobby and bar area is $3 for 30 minutes.

Tip: don’t wait for the duty free at the airport to by Brugal 151 Rum (the 79% alcohol one you can set on fire for flambé drinks and desserts) you cannot buy it there anymore due to airport regulations, it is considered a flammable liquid and therefore they cannot sell it. You have to buy it in a local shop and pack in it your luggage and I assume if they search you before you board, it will be taken. We got ours safely home ☺

In closing, I highly recommend the Gran Ventana resort. We always felt safe and secure. The weather was outstanding. The resort was fabulous! It met all our needs from ages 13 to 80!

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Salsajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2011

My wife and I stayed here for 2 weeks from Jan 22nd- Feb 4th. This was an excellent vacation spot. We were surprised at how clean it was. The Gran Ventana beach was the biggest, and nicest beach in the Playa Dorado compound. The buffet was very good, always able to find lots of tasty food. The night life here was pretty much non existant, but 3 minutes off of our resort were bars and night clubs that were pretty good. When and if you want to book any excursions, dont do it through the hotel. It costs way too much, and you get the same thing for a lot cheaper on the beach. Make sure you look for Ceasar!! This guy is awsome. Great deals, and great trips. We really enjoyed our time here, and the next time we go to Puerto Plata, we will be staying here.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sean2477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ajax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2011

As someone who has traveled extensively on four continents and have been to the Caribbean over 30 times, It takes a lot to impress me...but I have to admit this resort amazed both my wife and I from the get go to the very last second.
People travel for different reasons and have very diverse and different tastes and I don't think any resort ever will please everybody, but this resort pleased us for the following:
Hotel management: Very professional and have a good handle on running the resort down to the last detail.
Location: Idyllic location on pristine beach only 15-20 minutes from the airport.
Service and staff: Top notch,very genuine and always with a smile, second to none.
Cleanliness: Unbelievable..almost antiseptic..always someone cleaning
Safety: incredibly safe compound with a very safe beach..always someone keeping non patrons from crashing the party.
Food: Excellent selection, always fresh and genuine attempt to cater to diverse tastes.
Bar: Even though we don't over indulge in drinking, the drinks we ordered were more than adequate.
Beach: We booked mainly because of the beach ratings initially and were not disappointed...fantastic beach.
Overall we were pleasantly delighted, met so many lovely people from Europe and North America as well as the beautiful Dominican people. The sum of all parts make this an unbelievable resort. There will always be nicer rooms, fancier resorts, nicer food and entertainment,even a nicer beach, but when you factor in all the pluses and check how much all this wonderful experience only cost you, you will not wonder any more why so many smart people have been going there time after time again.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MarcoPolo459
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2011

For what I paid, no complaints. Food - OK; Drinks - just so so; Beach - fantastic. Service - excellent.; Pool at main building is good; I liked the Quiet Pool in another building much better It is for adults - real relaxing. Golf course nearby so is shopping But not much to shop - all touristy things
Massage next door at their sister hotel Casa Colonial is well worth it. For the same charge at home, I got to to spend a relaxing afternoon at their gym, sauna, steam room, massage and tea afterwords. This is a first rate hotel at $300 per night.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PabloMartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quaker Hill
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2011

My husband and I traveled with friends from Jan 16th - 23rd, and I must say that this is one of the best vacations I have ever had. I've been to Punta Cana, and now Puerto Plata, and I would go back to Puerta Plata (Playa Dorada) in a heartbeat!
The Gran Ventana, while not a 5 star resort, is great! The staff were all friendly, courteous, and hard-working. We spent all of our days by the pool, but felt comfortable leaving our towels on a chair to walk the beach! We loved the entertainment - especially Jose! He is full of enthusiasm, and made you feel totally comfortable playing games such as pineapple bowling! FUN to sit by the pool with the music playing and watching all of the action. My ONLY complaint about this resort would be the alcohol. They do not serve any other alcohol other than Dominican. I had no problem drinking the rum fruit drinks all week, but wished I had brought antacids! All restaurants were very good, and the buffet had a great selection. My favorite - getting up each morning and ordering a fresh fruit smoothie - made to order. A must have.
My tips - walk the beach. Enjoy the beauty. It is breathtaking! Take a left out of resort beach, and keep walking. Shop the Orange Market - what finds! And, stop for a beer with Francois at the little beach bar next door. The Hispanola restaurant also offers a beach side lobster dinner for $35 per person - individual tables set up for you on the beach!
Excursions - shop with James, who can be found in the Playa Dorada Market out the front of the resort. We took the Jeep Excursion, which was at a cost of $35 - and I will have those memories forever. Beautiful scenery, stopping at Dora's for coffee, a few more stops before being served a 7 course lunch, and then off to the 27 waterfalls - where you actually climb 7 of them. What a feeling when you get up there! An awesome adventure. We had taken school supplies with us (thank you to the Trip Advisor) and asked our tour guide if we could stop at a school that needed them, and they did this for us. We stopped at a Haitian/Dominican Elementary school where we were quickly introduced to the Principal - who appreciated the simple supplies we brought with us, and then allowed us to enter each classroom to distribute candy to the kids. I will remember this excursion forever - as it was that good!
Tipping - please do! Our maids were left a couple of dollars each day - along with goodies we had also brought with us (from our local dollar store). They appreciated the nail polish, hair accessories, flip flops and a dollar or two each day. It's the little things that count, and these people work tirelessly all day to keep the resort clean -which it absolutely is! Bartenders were given a $5 bill each day - and they knew our names instantly and were very attentive to us.
Pool - beautiful. Either bring a float with you, or walk across to the market and purchase one for $4 - its' worth it. Bring a large plastic cup with you to the resort and use it all week - they only use small 6oz glasses at their bars! We enjoyed "turning over" our floats and cups to people who were staying longer!
I would definitely return to this resort, or another in Playa Dorada. The Gran Ventana is family owned - no timeshare - and it was a really great vacation. I miss it already.
Don't expect luxury - expect quaint, and you will be very very happy.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jstearns
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:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Family 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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