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“Vacation from HELL!”

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BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only
Ranked #3 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Reviewed 6 May 2014

We traveled 4/22/14-4/27/14 and this was the review I wrote to get my refund for the worst vacation ever:

My best friend and I booked this trip all ready for an all inclusive, relaxing week away and that was the furthest thing from what we got. We had a horrific time every single day and I regret every booking a group on getaway.

1. Upon checkin, our room wasn't ready so we had to wait an hour before going to a room. We were forced to sit in the lobby with all our bags and wait in 90 degree heat. When we were finally escorted to a room, it was disgusting and dirty and at the far end of the resort. We tried to settle in, but we couldn't get past the fact that your we site said the rooms were updated in 2006. Our fridge didn't work, the floor was filthy and our bathroom had water all over the floor. When we went down to ask to switch rooms, the man at the front desk (Manolo) told us no problem, but we once again had to wait a ridiculous amount of time in the lobby. Fine. The second room they showed us was exactly like the first room except there was a cockroach on the floor. We asked them to see another room and Manolo gave us keys and told us to go look at it ourselves... We did and it was much better than the first two rooms and way closer to the actual resort than the first. Throughout our trip and meeting people, we heard that the front desk tried to put almost every guest in the first two rooms they had shown us. Why? Its like they were trying to pawn off these rooms on the younger people to save the nicer rooms for the older ones. After all the switching and waiting in the lobby, we didn't actually get to relax until about 6 pm. We had already been there for hours.

2. Room Service. Groupon says they have it. Their website says they have it. However when we went to the front desk to ask about a room service menu, no one knew what we were talking about. We spoke to many different people and finally Manolo decided to help us. He told us room service was not included (at an all inclusive?) and they did not have menus. It was $10 a day and all we had to do was call them with our order of whatever we wanted. So we handed Manolo $40 in cash and looked forward to the next mornings room service. Next morning we called and got transferred between the front desk and the kitchen a million times. No one knew what we were talking about. When we went down to the front desk to settle this, Manolo was there and when we explained our situation, he made us follow him around the resort while he spoke to many different people in spanish. No one seemed to be able to settle the problem, so we asked for our $40 back deciding it would be MUCH easier to just go to the buffet every morning. Manolo looked us dead in the eye with a smile and said "sorry, no refunds". We fought with him for close to a half hour about how thats robbery and we didn't want to pay for a service we weren't getting... let alone thought existed. We even offered to let him transfer the money over to be a massage credit for the massages we were going to get the following day. He refused to refund us our money. All week we spent fighting with him about it until we spoke to a guest services manager on our LAST DAY who tried to talk us out of getting a refund as well. When he felt he couldn't argue with us anymore, he decided to give us our money back. But we had to wait because he had to call Santo Domingo to get it approved. (What? you have to call the capital to refund $40?) Its almost as if he was hoping we would forget. We didn't get our money back until right before we left.

3. Your website says unlimited drinks and alcohol. It was anything but that. The second we walked in and had to wait an eternity for our room, we ordered drinks at the bar in the lobby. The only bar by the way that had top shelf liquor on the resort. We were charged for those drinks because apparently that bar isn't included. Of course we weren't told this before we ordered them.

4. Your website also says that each room has a mini bar stocked with soda and water. Thats true the first day. After that you have to pay for the only drinkable water in the room every time they refill it. Another thing we weren't told.

5. Both your website and their website boast about the swim up bar in the pool at the resort. Ill admit, that was one of the main reasons we decided on this destination. Well, The pool bar was closed for almost two days because they were painting it. And if thats not a huge problem right there, they had all these guys painting the pool with respirators on and paint ands fumes filling the air. It was hard to be anywhere near the center of the resort where the pool and buffet is without feeling like you were dying of paint inhalation.

6. inclusive non motorized sports. Every single all inclusive Ive been to that has said these activities were offered, had them right there on the resort and they have been FREE! thats what inclusive means isn't it? Well not in this case. Everything that was supposed to be included was at LEAST $50 a person and a 2.5 hour bus ride away. We didn't waste our time or our money. We spent the week pissed off that all the things we planned on doing were now unattainable.

7. unlimited dining. Another lie. When we checked in and decided to make our reservations for the 3 restaurants that were included in our package, we were told we could only dine at one because they were full. Again, we spent time arguing with the staff that that was garbage because it was INCLUDED IN WHAT WE PAID. After much arguing, they magically found three open reservations for us at their "all inclusive restaurants". Thats in quotes because it was not what everyone including you made us believe they were. For starters, the food at the fancy restaurants is supposed to be better than the food at the buffet... here, it was worse. Way worse. Also, both the steak and seafood restaurants had about 4 things on the menu and everything else you had to pay for. Please tell me how to rationalize getting a free choice of Mahi Mahi or PASTA at the seafood restaurant... and then having 10 things on the menu that were "seafood-y" that you had to pay upwards of $40 each for... It ridiculous. The only options at the steak restaurant were "rump steak with 2 sauces" and a chicken dish. CHICKEN! when asked what the two sauces were, the waiter replied "a mix of things". WHAT?! Then of course, all the rib eyes and filets you could get for a not so small price. Also, every single wine we tasted was disgusting. Im pretty sure it wasn't even wine. It tasted like vinegar.

8. Sunscreen. We purchased sunscreen at the gift shop the second day (since the first day was a total bust and we didn't even see sunshine from all the room waiting in the lobby) and headed out to the beach. we came back in the room two hours later because we felt we were burning and sure enough, we were totally burnt. The sunscreen was expired and we spent the rest of our trip burnt and blistered hiding in the shady areas of the resort. Which, by the way, were very few and far between. There were about 5 umbrellas at the pool and the beach shady was "reserved for VIP guests" except for a few hay huts which were always taken.

9. The beach. I have never in my life felt so harassed. Every 5 minutes people were coming up to us asking us to buy stuff. When we politely said no thank you, they stood there and stared at us for 10 minutes until the next vendor came to harass us some more. We were offered everything from jewelry to statues to a prostitute. WHAT?! One night the resort even invited these vendors to come sell stuff around the pool during diner time. As if being harassed during the day wasn't enough. These vendors were pushy and rude and didn't leave us alone the entire trip.

10. We did not have room service all week. Yet somewhere, somehow, my best friend lost her brand new book in the room. We asked the front desk about it multiple times and were told "i don't know" or even once to "check the library". when we asked why, we were told that when staff finds things like books, they put it in their personal library. Thats not ok. It should go to a lost and found. It was a brand new $30 book that somehow disappeared right from our room never to be seen again.

11. The shuttle ride to and from the airport and hotel. We were told by the travel agent when booking our group on that the shuttle was only about 30-45 minutes. No big deal. Well that was a lie. A BIG LIE. The trip both ways was 2hours or more through very sketchy areas where people were walking by the bus trying to sell things. It was extremely aggravating.

12. Manolo was hands down the rudest person Ive ever encountered on a vacation. And he works at the front desk! He is the first impression and last impression of the resort and he was terrible and rude. Constantly giving us the run around and not being very hospitable. We asked him and other employees who the hotel manager was numerous times and no one would give it to us. We didn't get her name until when we were leaving at check out and Im pretty sure the only reason we got it was because the person we spoke to was probably new on the job.

13. The spa. My friend and I booked our massages and went in for a relating experience and instead we were tortured. The room was bright (not dim and relaxing like normal spas) and they did not use massage oils or lotions. Instead, they used lava hot oil and without warning us about the temperature, poured it all over us. It was extremely painful. and Im pretty sure that half my blistering was from expired sunscreen and half was from the lava they poured all over my backside. HORRIBLE!

14. I wasn't feeling so good our last day and neither was my friend Laura, but it was the first time ever on a vacation that we were both extremely EXCITED to go home. The two hour shuttle ride, the horrible plane ride that followed... once we landed in NYC we thought our troubles were over, but they weren't. My friend was admitted into the hospital the next day with an infection that the doctors told her was from a dirty pool. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So not only did we pay an exuberant amount of money for a terrible vacation that was nothing like it was advertised, but my friend was hospitalized because it was filthy.

Never in my life have I felt so duped. Im not a complainer either, but I feel like I was lied to and I spent a ton of money on something that wasn't what you said it was. This money was worked for and this vacation was saved for and it was all a waste and I'm very angry. That was our one vacation we could afford this year and it was a nightmare.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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33  Thank SamanthaBergin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 May 2014

Beautiful views , pool , people , amazing entertainment , nice food , would go there over and over again! Huge thank you to Leo, Commando, DJ Filipe and George they really made our holiday! Make sure when you go to say hello to them their a brilliant laugh and really make your holiday complete! Wouldn't of been the same without them! Amazing time! Just the best holiday you could ask for with the best people! Paulina and Piotr

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Paulina S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

I was there with my cousin I have great time. The service was good, also the staff was great special PEki and Leo. Those two girl were so nice. Peki alway trying to help us with the activities she was really funny because my cousin didn't know how to dance and she tried to teach him. Leo was very funny girl I love her too very professional the activities were great with both leo and peki. If I go back it because leo and peki.
The room I didn't like it because in the pictures were different as what we get also our neighbors make too much noise.

  • Stayed: April 2014
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Thank maria v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2014

Have just returned from Bluebay and what a great place it is. Was there last year and this year was just as good. The people who give this place a bad review must be staying at a different hotel.Food is good,complex is good,drinks are good and the animation team are absolutely fabulous.Raol,George,Mayo,James bond,Commando Peki, Leo,Jarje You guys are all great people and work very hard to make everybody happy. All the staff are nice people and do their best to make your holidays great.There's not many hotels where you see the manager walking around checking that everything is in order but the manager there Ines would do this every morning, even checking the cleanliness of the toilets. All in all a very good holiday for the second year running.Will be sad not to see Mayo again but wish him lots of luck in his new job.Thank you to you all. Marshall

Room Tip: Stayed in block7 very quite
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank marshallKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

Traveling with my husband we were here for 10 days..Apr 5-15, 2014...We had requested a room in blocks 6,7 or 8-lower level or least a balcony after reading reviews prior to booking. We were taken to block 3-up a set of stairs into a dingy room with no balcony--just a bed/night table-no dressers-closet with a couple of shelves...so ok-make the best of it-until to our amazement there was no water in the toilet- the tank did fill if you run the bathroom sink taps..ok, so down to reception ..we were moved to block 2-room on 2nd floor facing the entertainment stage(about 30 ft from the stage). The show runs most every nite with the exception of a couple-so from 9:00-11:00pm...A few of the shows were fine..after a while it gets a little old and is Very LOUD...so no peace-even if you want an early night-forget it..your held hostage. The food was fine-lots to choose from-beach is lovely -water clear with no rock and the spa was great..location from the airport is 15-20 min. The grounds were very nice and well looked after..Staff were very nice and I do feel for the staff on the front desk-I'm sure alot of people assigned to these crappy rooms complain about them. So if you can sleep through anything and you don't mind not being able to unpack-this may be the place for you..but we won't be back.

Room Tip: blocks 6, 7 or 8 appear to be in a quiet area..good luck getting one
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank skikosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 May 2014

After previously staying with Blue Bay in Mexico, we were expecting the same quality and service. We were very displeased. We will not be returning to Blue Bay again.

The stay was anything but expected. First the all inclusive package that we paid for stated that we were entitled to 24-hour snacks - this was not offered. In fact, there were portions of the day and early evening where we were unable to eat, and after 1 am there was no where to eat on the resort. The single main buffet closed between 10.30-12.30, 3.30-6.30 and from 8.30 on. There "24 hour snack" area did not open until 11 (at the earliest) and then was closed at 6 until 11, where it reopened until 1 am. The three a la carte restaurants were never open on the same night, restricting food choices even more. The Chinese a la carte was delicious. The grill was bad - steak was served so rare it was blue (even after asking it to be cooked to a medium temp).

The online description stated "this impressive resort caters for the over 18's and enjoys an enviable position adjacent to an 18-hole golf course. Embrace the seafront position and relax on the long sandy beach. Benefit from the impressive spa facilities; plunge into the pool, bake in the sauna or relax in the jacuzzi. Sample the array of restaurants which are renowned for their international cuisine." The description gave a larger then life impression but it was sadly things were not impressive - it is quite small, and it only has two bars open at any time (not three as was stated in the description). The swim up bar was actually closed while we were there, limiting our choices even further - and greatly impacting the ability to enjoy the pool while jack hammering and other renovations were ongoing. There was no jacuzzi anywhere on the resort - when I asked staff, they had no idea. There is no nightclub, and virtually no entertainment. Daily activities cease at 5 pm and there is nothing until the evening show starts at 9.30 pm.

The Nolitours plus inclusions that we paid for also were not delivered on. Our "garden view" room consisted of the viewing of a solid cement wall. The "dedicated room location" was filled with non Nolitour plus individuals, and everyone used the pool in the area. There were no beach towels in our room, nor was there our own concierge service, or VIP room amentities. When I tried to take advantage of the 20% spa discount, I was told at first there was no discount.

The beach club was not accessible by anyone other then Blue Bay members, and we were approached on the second day of our vacation to join. After being told it would be a ten minute presentation, we sat for 2 hours listening, not able to leave even though we tried to extract ourselves numerous times. We were then continuously approached by Club members throughout our time, who tried to sell us on the Circle One. We were promised gifts for attending the presentation, a promise which was never delivered upon either. In fact, the whole experience with the Circle One was so bad that we warned other people while we were on the resort not to go.

Finally, we have to make it known that while on the resort, sitting pool side next to the dining hall, we were approached by a staff member wearing a white Circle One polo who asked my husband if he was interested in buying drugs from him. This was NOT acceptable. With such strong service and impressive dining in the past, the Blue Bay Villas Dorados was a severe disappointment and we truly feel as though the experience we had has turned us from the Blue Bay Family.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank SparkesCoombs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Our trip started "rocky" . They gave us a room VERY near the stage & it was so loud that it was not going to be a peaceful vacation.They gave us a quieter room the next day.
The food and drinks was good & the grounds were clean.
People were saving beach chairs as early as 4:00am making it hard to find shade.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rbfisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only

Address: Calle Principal Complejo Playa Dorada nr 538, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Puerto Plata
#1 Best Value Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Plata
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range: £72 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only 4*
Number of rooms: 244
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BlueBay Villas Doradas is an Adults Only 24 hour All Inclusive resort in Puerto Plata, was completely refurbished in 2006 providing facilities and rooms of the highest quality. This hotel in Puerto Plata, which is only for the over 18s, is an ideal place for couples to relax or enjoy their honeymoon or wedding. Its location - literally next to the 18-hole Playa Dorada golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones – makes it a favourite among golfers.The hotel’s rooms and suites are equipped to the highest standard, in keeping with the quality of the resort and its recent refurbishment – all include cable TV, mini bars and ironing facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bluebay Villas Doradas Hotel Puerto Plata
Bluebay Hotel Puerto Plata
Bluebay Hotel Doradas
Blue Bay Getaway Villas Doradas
Blue Bay Getaway Dominican Republic
BlueBay Villas Doradas Adults Only Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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