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“WHAT A TREAT! SIMPLY ONE OF THE FINEST RESORT COMPLEX.”

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VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Jerome, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
“WHAT A TREAT! SIMPLY ONE OF THE FINEST RESORT COMPLEX.”
Reviewed 11 March 2011

Two weeks passed by fast, especially when you are staying in a resort complex like the Vh Gran Ventana in Puerto Plata. It's a well designed play ground area with Great entertainment staff - one of the finest performing groups we have experienced. A pure joy to say the least, fun, fun, fun all around the clock. Some night I laugh so hard that it hurt my jaws, the wife and our friends were having the same issue.

The hotel is best situated on a beautiful sandy beach, the finest of all in Playa Dorada. Restaurants and food selection are quite good, no complaint there. Mattresses, a little stiff and in need of upgrading to keep up with competition. For any excursion deals, please look for Ceasar on the beach behind the hotel gate. We booked 3 trips with him and truly happy with the deals and the experiences. Golf is a little too pricy when you add Caddie fee and tip, but the course is charming with most holes are wide open fairway.
The locals are cool, calm and collected.

Our profound appreciation to all the friendly resort staff and until next time, all the bests.
Pretty (Jackie Chan)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Thank PrettyMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2011

I would consider myself a frequent traveler.This was my second time at this resort and I found it seemed to missing something this time.The resort is very well kept, the staff was excellent however the food this time was just ok.The buffet was very ordinary and seemed to offer the same items night after night.The Italian Restaurant is wonderful and it's a must do.The other 2 a'lcarts are average.The nightly entertainment was scary but they seemed to have lot's of fun doing their thing.If you are a beer drinker like I am you will soon learn to try mixed drinks the draft beer is not good at all and bottled beer is not available.I would recommend you take a walk the small plaza just outside th resort buy 6 beers, give them to the bartender and put put them on ice.Jackie at the pool bar is ton's of fun and very accommodating even with her sarcastic comments,we all loved her company.The beach is beautiful and well maintained.This review is a true experience and I believe you will share the same views should you decide to vacation at the VH Grand Ventana.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
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1 Thank hawks90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lancashire
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2011

stayed for one week in September after a ten hour flight I was glad we had got the visa before going. The queue of people was unbelievable. The hotel was lovley and right on the white sandy beach, just like the brochure. The food was fantastic something for everyone. I was with friends and my two teenage children age 18 and 14. The entertainment round the pool wasent very good although the staff did try , my teenage son was quiet bored. If your happyto lie on the beautiful sun drenched beach as I was its ideal. There are lots of trips on offer all at a price my son went on the outback buggies which he enjoyed. If I had gone for two weeks I would of gone on a couple of trips to break it up. There are three different resturants to choose a special meal one allowed per person per week. these are well worth a visit. The beach is a trading place for the locals and they come around all day long. We did buy a couple of things and you just need to keep saying no. They also try to sell the trips I dont know if these were ok as we went through the hotel when we booked ours. It was a really relaxing holiday with all the food and drinks you want. The hotel was lovley and clean and the staff very friendly. If this is the sort of holiday you want this is the place to go.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled with family
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1 Thank LancashireKurt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

My sister and I stayed at is resort for a week. We choose it after looking at lots of different places, and decide on this one based on the reviews and the price. It was just what we were looking for for under $1000. Sure there are faults but most can be avoid if you know what you are getting into.

The rooms are small, I would not want to put 3 adults in a room or even a family of 5. But for 2 adults with 2 double beds it worked well. We didn't spend much time in the room anyways, just sleep. They are also a bit dated but what can you expect for an older resort at a great price. We did request a quiet room before we got there and that is what we got. We were in the Saona building on the 3rd floor.

Service- Was good, maybe not so much the front desk staff but everyone else was great. Everything was very clean.

The beach was the best in the Playa Dorada complex. Always lots of room and we could find lots of shade or sun on the beach, depending on what we wanted. The pool area was very nice as well.

The drink were not watered down at all. If anything I found them strong with lots of alcohol, there was no shortage of alcohol used. The bar staff was always friendly. The food at the al a cartes was great, by the end we were a bit bored with the buffet but we could always find something to eat. My sister is a vegetarian and she could alway find something to eat. We booked our ala cartes for the last 3 nights so we avoided the buffet right when we were a bit tired if it. But this is very similar to other all inclusives I have been too.

If we god back to the Peurto plata, playa dorada area we would definitely go back to the Gran Ventana over the other resort in that area. There were a lot of repeat guests there.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank dixie2410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
97 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2011

Checked in Feb 26, 2011 and stayed one week. We were the only Americans that I know of...mostly Canadians were at the hotel. Not sure why. But anyway, the staff was friendly and bent over backwards the entire time we were there.
The rooms are ok overall. Our room was by the quiet pool for 2 days with a mountain view and we asked to move to ocean view because our toilet wouldn't stop running. They took care of helping us move all our luggage. The pools are beautiful. There's plenty of chairs. We were a little disappointed that there is no hot tub.
The buffet is awesome. The food is great with plenty of choices. The drink selection is great and the bars were never too busy. The service was great the entire time.
There wasn't much going on in the evenings. This is an area for improvement. We just drank and walked the beach at night because the activities are boring...nothing too wild. It's very family friendly and lots of 60+ age people, too.
The beach was very nice, but vendors swarm you trying to sell stuff while you're trying to relax from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Here's a tip...you can barter with them and trade clothing or goods from the US. They love American clothing and will give you jewelry and art in exchange for what they sell!
There's golf, casino and mall within walking distance to the resort.
Overall, we had a very nice time and would recommend this hotel over any others in the nearby beach area.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Jamie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2011

Firstly, if you haven't read the review from "withkidstravel", do so, as I agreed with almost everything they said. Read our reviews together to get a real sense of this resort. This is my 5th trip down south (Caribbean, Mexico, etc.) I travelled with a group of 10 people (extended family - ages 24 to 55). Here are my impressions of the resort:

Check-in:
We arrived very late -about 11pm on Saturday night. Check-in was painstakingly slow. No real welcoming gestures from the staff. I saw that during the day, guests are welcomed with welcome drinks, etc. No so if you're arriving late (shouldn't matter, I have arrived late at many resorts and am always greeted well). Staff helped transport our luggage to our room and even carried it up the stairs.

Rooms:
Unfortunately, we were given a room in the Beata building. All negative reviews of the Beata building are accurate. If you're on one side of the building, all you can hear is the club playing extremely loud music until about 4am. If you're staying on the other side of the building, your room looks onto an alley way for another resort - so all night and early morning you get to listen to trucks idling and Dominicans yelling at each other. The odd car alarm will go off for long periods of time. Those of you who stayed in the Beata will know what I'm talking about! You are much better off to request the Saona or Catalina buildings. Much nicer and MUCH QUIETER.

The rooms are decent, but dated. There is minimal furniture. All reviews stating that there is no place to store your clothing are true. There are no dressers, about 10 hangers in the closet and minimal shelving. We did not enjoy living out of our suitcases for a week. It's the same furnishing for all buildings, so you get what you get at this resort. The Beata building is the only one that hasn't been updated, so you will notice that the furnishings are old, the bathroom is tired (gross looking tub, no storage place for your belongings, etc), minimal towels, etc.

We had a king size bed - we found the bed really comfortable, but the matress is definitely firm. We love firm matresses, so this didn't bother us. One thing you should know is that they don't have fitted sheets for the king beds. We found it a little disturbing to wake up on the bare mattress on several occassions. This didn't seem very hygenic, but there was no point in making an issue about it because every other king bed is the same.

All that aside, the rooms are clean - no bugs, clean sheets, no other issues there.

Food:
The food at Gran Ventana is ok. The buffet has a huge selection and you will find something to eat. You may not love it, but you will not starve. As another reviewer noted, the beach grill is great for hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken wraps, etc. Go there for lunch or you will get tired of eating at the buffet.

A la cartes:
Italian - we didn't love this restaurant. Other reviewers have said they liked it...we thought it was only so-so. I love Italian food, so I was disappointed. Service is very slow.

Ocean Grill - much better than the Italian. Food was really tasty and service was much faster. Everyone was happy with their meals here.

Octopus - I have to admit I was not looking forward to my dinner at the Octopus. I guess I just assumed that I wouldn't like the Caribbean-style food. I stand corrected. This was the best restaurant by far. I wish we had known this early as I would have tried to eat there a second time before leaving.

Drinks:
The house wine is terrible. However, for about $20 - $30/bottle, you can order from a real wine list. They have a very good selection of whites and reds; however, they can't always find the wine that you chose - so be open to other options. It was well worth the extra money to have real wine with dinner.

I didn't find that the drinks were watered down at all. In fact, there were many occassions that my drinks were so strong I had to dilute them a little. I found that the servers were very generous with the rum, etc. Shots of anything came in HUGE amounts. Beware, the lobby bar (right beside the entertainment stage) was horrible. The drinks there were awful - I have no idea why. If you want strong drinks, go to that bar. We just avoided it and went to the pool bar instead. Problem solved.

Pool:
The main pool was great. Fairly big and had a swim-up bar. Also had a great "wade-in" area that resembled a beach. Water was perfect temp.

There is also a quiet pool at the Beata complex. Go there if you want to avoid the music, games, etc. There is a nice bar there too, so you will have everything you need.

Beach:
Absolutely beautiful beach. Not white sand, but very clean, raked each day, lots of lounge chairs, etc. The GV has the biggest beach space of all the resorts.

Shopping:
Organge Market - a few minutes down the beach. Every stall has the same items, so you really don't need to see more than one, but you will. As soon as you arrive you are pressured to go into every stall. Don't go alone as a woman. Go as a group of women or bring your boyfriend/husband/male friend. Contrary to another review - you can and SHOULD barter with the vendors. I got one guy down to $5 for a dress from $35.

Shopping Mall in Playa Dorada complex: Buy your booze here. Prices are as good as Duty Free and you can pack it in your luggage and forget about it. I bought my 151 here. You cannot buy 151 at the airport. They don't sell it there. Also - the duty free at the airport did not have a lot of the liquor that people wanted. Those that waited for duty free lost out if they wanted something specific.

Do not buy anything else at that mall. They WILL NOT barter. Bartering happens at the beach, in the Orange Market, or in town.

Staff:
The staff are generally friendly at the resort. We tipped at every meal, tipped our bartenders, and our maid/cleaning lady. To be honest, we actually found that they didn't really appreciate the tips. The tips are communal, so it just goes into a jar and is shared with everyone else. We stopped tipping the maid because we were unimpressed with the room. She didn't put any effort into making it special. One day we came back to find the room was sloppily put back together. We gave her $2 instead of $5 after that. On the last day we didn't tip at all as we weren't really impressed.

As someone else mentioned - the staff at the front desk are useless. Especially the guy with the braces. Avoid him or you will just get mad. I asked him for a pen and he thought that was funny and said no. I walked over to the woman beside him and she gave me one right away. Very odd.

Entertainment:
This was fine - I didn't think it was as bad as others have said, but whatever. It was ok and we enjoyed ourselves. After the resort shuts down, you can go off resort to enjoy the rest of your evening. You will want to do this if you are awake past 11pm.

Trips:
We booked through Ceasar on the beach (as recommended by other reviewers). If you book with him, you will get much better prices. However, we took the advice of others and booked the Dune Buggy/ATV trip - don't bother. The company that Ceasar uses for this excursion was awful. Others have said they loved the trip, so they must have gone with another company.

Overall impression:
Had a good time because of the weather, the people we travelled with, and the fact that it was our vacation. We will not return to this resort as we feel it was pretty bare bones, we didn't feel pampered, and the whole resort needed a serious face lift. While I read that the rooms were not great here, I figured that we wouldn't really be in them long enough to care. I was wrong. The rooms were really lacking. I guess I've been spoiled at other resorts that I've travelled to, even though they were also rated 4 stars. This resort really should not be rated higher than 3 stars.

I will not be recommending this resort to anyone. I think you can find better resorts in DR and it's worth the extra $ to find one.

  • Stayed February 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank DreamInPinaColada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2011

Just returned from a week stay at the Gran Ventana Beach Resort, 22nd Feb - 2nd March and although I always read the trip advisor reviews i've never actually took the time before to write one myself until now... The Hotel is really lovely, transfer from reception to airport very quick and smooth, easy check in, rooms although not palatial are very very clean and comfortable. The staff are lovely, very friendly and always on hand to do everything they can to accommodate. The main pool area is gorgeous with lovely swim up bar, everything is very centralised, reception, main buffet, pool area, pool tables, table tennis, animation games, beach bar and the most amazing white sandy beach and fabulous blue sea within a few steps away. Food is excellent, buffet breakfast, lunch and evening meal with so much choice but do take advantage of the a la carte restaurants, they are all very good but in my opinion Italian is the best. If you don't fancy one of them just ask and you can go more than once to one of the others.

The hotel has a really calm and laid back feel, there are plenty of sunbeds, I mean loads, no getting up early and having to bag a bed, everything is very very chilled, both by beach and pool.

The Thomson rep, Silvia is a little gem, she is there when you need her but not at all pushy for you to do excursions and trips. We hired a private taxi, make sure you do not take a guide with you, and he took us all around Puerto Plata, to the Cable Car, Fortress, Central Square, Port, Shops and stayed with us the whole time for $50, a real bargain.

Drinks are plentiful and flowing from 10am until whenever and although not strong are really very nice. The Hotel has a large number of wicker seats with soft cushions around the pool bar area and the stage area and these are really very lovely to relax in whilst watching the sun go down.

The animation team are so energentic, they are inspiring, there really is everything you could possibly want, crazy games, volleyball, aqua aerobics, killer pool, bingo, ping pong, dance lessons etc etc but do you know what it's there if you want it but if not no hassle, just chill and relax, they are not pushy. The quiet pool I guess is perhaps great for adults only but with three kids, 17 , 13 and 5 it was a bit too quiet so we opted for the main pool area. The kids had a half hour jet ski session, just book on beach, cheap as chips and great fun.

The shops at the Plaza are good and very reasonable, don't bother with the Orange Market it's a good 20min walk along the beach and you get hassled the minute you get there and even after bartering it's much more expensive than the Plaza shops.

One slightly annoying little niggle is that that at breakfast and lunch little birdies tend to fly into the buffet area and try and have a nibble on any left over food, perhaps try and put some netting up Gran Ventana!!

Overall an absolutely fantastic week, enjoyed it from start to finish, really fab hotel, people, food, drink, sun, sea, location etc etc et al, be back again Gran Ventana x

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank Bevvy_11
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 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#5 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
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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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