First of all, those who say this is not a 5 star hotel are both right and wrong. You cannot judge this against Four Season, the Setai, Ritz Carlton or the Delano. They are 2 different animals. There are no bathrobes, the blow dryer blows (no pun intended) and no room service. That being said, it was simply amazing for an all inclusive. Here's the real scoop:
The staff- Very attentive, friendly and helpful. Most important, they remember your name! We met one staff member one time during a game of darts and 2 night later her shook our hands and remembered both of our names. They also remember the drinks you like and the food you like. Special shout outs to: William at the lobby bar, Elvis at the pool bar, Mari and Elizabetta at the front desk that really helped when my husband twisted his ankle, late night grill guy that made the best steak sandwiches and "Applauso" (I wish we knew his name, he was made the resort a super fun time. He ran all the daily games and truly cared that everyone had a great time-Angie help?). The maids were also great. We made sure to tip everyone because they always made you feel special and put you first. They spoke several languages, which was so impressive and really made us feel like family. We kissed everyone goodbye and cannot wait to go back.
The food- Awesome for an all inclusive. A great selection at all times and open 24/7. To have someone on the grill cooking steak and burgers from midnight till 5am when stumbling home drunk from the disco was such a plus in my book. Our couples dinner also rocked. A special menu was designed and was delicious. It was true Dominican food, but that's okay because they always had something for everyone. The ala carte's were always empty, but that's because the buffet was awesome every night.
The grounds: Every inch looked new and like it had a fresh coat of paint. We always saw someone working really hard to maintain the area. It was nice knowing they care so much. When our power went out from my use of a real blow dryer, they came within minutes to turn it back on.
The liquor: Top shelf, didn't seem watered down like other resorts. Great mojitos and the cappuccinos with Baileys, omg-to die for.
The beach- Looked like our beach home, which was disappointing. I would say this is because we were on the Atlantic side, but when we traveled further down it looked nicer and cleaner. It was always windy and had a ton of seaweed. However, there were palapas and that made it kind of cool. Nothing like sitting in the rain under a nice palapa reading a book staring at the water. We traveled to other beaches that we will mention later in this review. We also were not able to utilize the water sports due to the wind and waves, which we were really looking forward to.
The internet- Very expensive. Made the mistake of not getting the week pass. We spent almost $40 bucks more. Wasn't strong and barely worked in our room, but was very strong by pool and lobby. Kind of cool facebooking and listening to Howard Stern by the pool!
The pool- No swim-up bar. Very cold because it rained a lot and there were no jacuzzis. Also, if you like to sleep late, as we do (and by late I mean 9:30), you won't get a good spot in the sun. This isn't the resort's the fault. People put towels down and leave for hours. Be mindful of that. Also, strict towel policy, which is kind of lame.
Location- located by a mountain. Rained often and very cloudy. We had to search for the sun and leave the premises, but if you aren't an adventurer don't worry, the sun will come out if the wind isn't coming from the mountain side.
Casino- 30 second walk from the hotel, but be careful seem a bit corrupt. Blackjack dealer seems to always have a 10...and whatever you do..DO NOT PLAY PROGRESSIVE ROULETTE/CARIBBEAN KENO. Total scam and even on the State Department's website. If you Google it, you will see that people have lost thousands. They offer it at every casino in the Puerto Plata, do not fall for it.
Cabarete- AMAZING. If you are looking for a beautiful beach with beds, gorgeous sand, turquoise water and great restaurants go here. It is 25 minutes on one road left of Iberostar. We rented a car, and as long as you drive during the day, it is not bad at all to get there (DO NOT DRIVE AT NIGHT unless you want to hit a scooter or animal or person crossing the street and be blinded by brights). We highly recommend going to Cabarete. We had the best time. Comparable to any beach in St. Martin, Orient Beach or Anguilla. Great night scene as well.
Sosua- A very nice quiet beach with nice people, however a little poorer. We saw a horrible act of animal cruelty that will scar me for life. Will be staying away from here, however, the beach is gorgeous and the people are very nice. We rented chairs and left our stuff to go for a walk. It rained while we were gone and they pulled our chairs in and placed them under a umbrella so our belongings would not get wet-so thoughtful.
All in all, had a great time at the resort, but you get a little stir crazy. It gets boring at night and would definitely recommend renting a car or taking a cab to one of the beaches. Also, if you are young, it definitely seemed to be an older/family oriented resort. This makes it peaceful, but a tad boring. Yes, there was a disco, but there were no more than 10 people in it every night. There is a night club next door, Pure, that is also fun, but not free. Enjoy your stay, you will love it. The Iberostar is definitely a class act. Definitely adventure to Paradise Island for amazing snorkling or Cabarete for an amazing scene, food and beach-can't recommend this enough. ENJOY! Can't wait to go back, next time will be staying in Cabarete though.
Jaimie and Craig Mauro
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The IBEROSTAR Costa Dorada hotel is located in front of the large golden sand beach of Costa Dorada, 10 minutes from the city of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic's north coast. This wonderful 5-star All Inclusive resort is a wonderful haven for aquatic sports lovers. Renovated in 2011, the IBEROSTAR Costa Dorada hotel has 498 Double Rooms and 18 spacious Junior Suites. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Costa Dorado
- Iberostar Puerto Plata
- Iberostar Costa Dorada Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata
- Iberostar Costa Dorada Puerto Plata
- Iberostar Hotel Costa Dorada
- Iberostar Costa Dorada Hotel
- Costa Dorado
- Puerto Plata Iberostar
- Iberostar Hotel Puerto Plata