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“DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME!!!”

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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #12 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
New Haven, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY OR TIME!!!”
Reviewed 24 January 2012

There is not one thing about this resort that I can say something decent about. From the time of arrival, it was a nightmare!!! This is NOT a 4 star resort BY ANY MEANS. The rooms were disgusting, the food buffet was fly infested. The water in my broken refrigerator was obviously warm and when I opened one of the bottles of water, the cap didn't seem to be sealed! Needless to say, I didn't drink any of the water, nor eat any of the food. The beach was far from paradise & STUNK like sewage. The water was merky & not crystal blue. This was a waste of money & time & a threat to safety. There are n't many security guards around so if an emergency were to happen, you would n't have any help. This place is a disgrace, germ pool & no one should go here, no matter what!!!! Within 48 hours, I flew home. When you book through the vacation club, their mission is to sell you a timeshare and they will HARASS You to buy...if you are not interested, they will treat you like garbage. It seems like there may be two sides of the resort. The TERRIBLE side and then the "nicer" side ( and I saw that loosely) where they try to sell you the timeshares. The service was subpar. I called for a coffee maker & they brought me a mattress for a bed. They don't understand what customer service is all about. I would not recommend this disgusting resort to ANYONE. STAY AWAY!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
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3 Thank Ksct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

My girlfriend and I visited Cofresi from 1/18 - 1/23. I must admit that I read a lot of reviews from this site prior to my trip and was very nervous. I did a lot of research on this resort and tried to pick up all the tips and tricks. I feel many negative reviews were biased towards individual issues relating to things like children, weather or health. I experienced what I believe is a normal vacation and will provide an HONEST review.

Preparing:
You will not need to pack your entire closet for this trip. A few bathing suits, sandals, athletic shoes (for activities) t-shirts and dinner wear was all that I required.

I recommend bringing about $200 in cash in mostly single denominations. Tipping is by no means required at this resort but the bartenders, waiters and staff work very hard. If you want the bartender to serve you promptly or make drinks stiffer a dollar will make that happen.

You will not be able to make dinner reservations for your first night which means you will be forced to eat at the buffet. Because of this I highly recommend booking your first night for either Thursday or Sunday. On Thursday you will have access to Ocean World which will provide you with food, a show and access to the Casino. On Sunday the resorts hosts their "Welcome Party" which includes a full buffet, top shelf liquor, a show and fireworks.

Arrival:
The airport is a solid 45 minutes away from the resort. I highly recommend that you setup your travel from the airport to the resort through your booking company i.e. Cheap Caribbean. You will be solicited by many taxi drivers and men offering to carry your luggage. This will be your first lesson in learning the phrase "No Gracias".

Once you arrive at the resort, immediately check in and use the resort map to find your room. If you loiter you will be approached by men in white shirts with clip boards offering a tour. The tour is NOT mandatory and there is no welcome packet. You will be given a bracelet of a solid color. That color indicates which day you arrived. The men in the white shirts use this to figure out who is new and who has been acclimated to the resort. Once you decline the tour a couple times they will remember your face and eventually there will be a whole new crew of people for them to hound and they will leave u alone.

Food and Dinner Reservations:
The resort provides access to 2 buffet restaurants and about 7 themed restaurants. There is an additional ~5 restaurants but they are reserved for VIP guests only. The themed restaurants are Italian, Seafood, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Brazilian Steak and Dominican. In order to eat at a restaurant you MUST make reservations. Reservations may ONLY be made the day of. In order to make a reservation you must go to the resort main lobby at 9AM and wait in line. This is a pain but no amount of complaining will change the process so just accept it and comply.

I ate at the Seafood, Italian and Brazilian restaurants. The Italian was in my opinion the best followed by the Brazilian and Seafood. Others I spoke with at the resort said the Mexican was the best so it really depends on personal preference. When ordering your meals you must keep in mind where you are and that its all inclusive. Ordering what would normally be an expensive meal like scallops is not going to be as safe a bet as a normal meal like grouper. Ordering a complicated meal like lasagna is not going to be as safe a bet as a meal as a chicken parm.

Bars:
There are many bars throughout the resort. All of them but the ones reserved for VIPs or the VIP Beach serve bottom shelf liquor. When I say bottom shelf I mean... bottom shelf even for the locals. Stick with the mixed fruity drinks that use Rum or the El Presidente beer. The vodka, wine and whiskey are not good. Also bring with you a mug or insulated bottle so that you may keep your drinks cool in the sun and receive a portion larger than a sippy cup. If you purchase one at the resort they are $17.

Pools:
The pools have many lounge chairs around them. The unwritten law at the resort is that if a blue towel is on a chair it is considered reserved. If you want to sit at a particular pool at a particular section you better wake up early and put your towel on the chair. If you don't mind pool hopping, you will find open chairs.

Beach:
The beach area is very nice and well maintained. There are a few beach beds and countless chairs. Again, if you want a good seat you must wake up early and reserve it. Do not expect a sunny chair on the beach if you wake up at 11.

VIP Beach:
If you have access to this beach, this is where you will want to spend all your time. The drinks here are top shelf, the food is better than the buffet and you will not be harassed by beach vendors. The beach is full of beach beds of different sizes and types. The beach opens up at 8AM and becomes full almost instantly. If you want to reserve a particular bed, plan on arriving at 7:30AM to wait in line. This may be a pain but it is worth it for a full day of drinks, food service and lounging in comfort.

Activities:
I recommend the ATV adventure through the forest and sugar cane fields. The guides are very friendly and provide you with the freedom to enjoy the countryside.

Overall:
The resort is very well maintained, the staff is polite and the guests just want to enjoy themselves. If you have kids I would skip this destination. There are not many friendly kid activities as its really designed for adults. If you have a weak stomach you will most likely have a negative reaction to something. If your weather is lousy you are SOL. If you are expecting a 5 star dining experience you shouldn't be looking at a cheap all inclusive. With a little common sense and preparation this resort has the accommodations to make anyone's vacation enjoyable.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
13 Thank Nick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Northport, New York
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2012

There are two experiences of this property: LOVED it or HATED it! The positive reviews are probably from those who bought into the time share, the negative from those who did not.

Not knowing it was a high-pressure time share resort, we bought an upgraded Ocean View Jr. Suite with top shelf drinks. Did NOT get the prepaid upgrade or drinks, did NOT get into any of the 9 themed restaurants- except buffet 3X daily with same selection of food (tires quickly). There was shortage of water for 3 days, and no towels for 1 day (but the timeshare rooms got them). The "minibar" in our room was a small cabinet that did not have refrigeration and was initially stocked with 2 bottles each of warm beer, soda, and water. Anything thereafter had to be brought back to our room from a beach bar in 6 oz plastic cups. Seriously?!

Attitude of management is nasty and confrontational. Aggressiveness of timeshare salesmen is what you would expect-relentless. All other employees are great and make up for the negativity.

Did I mention the bedbugs? They fumigated our entire bldg (30 rms), as well as others. Well, you get the picture. Don't say you weren't warned!

Room Tip: If you insist on going, choose the Presidential Suites. They get water/towels/ and a real minibar...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank 007travelr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

My husband and I traveled to this resort for 2 weeks over the christmas and new years holiday. We were extremely disappointed with this resort. We travel a lot (2-3 all inclusive trip per year) and have a good understand of what a 4+ star hotel should offer. I always check the tripadvisor reviews before booking and was shocked with some of the reviews that i read and then the resort itself.
To begin, we arrived late on a saturday night and there was no service in the lobby. They did not have any drinks available and only 1 person for check in. We were glad to have finally arrived and waited in line patiently. The man at the counter was very nice and we had no trouble checking in. We were told before leaving that we would receive a Jr suite for our vacation but we were put into an older room. The room did not have any hot water, ceiling tiles in the washroom were falling, floor tiles were chipped and the tv did not work. We went back to the lobby and were told to return in the morning to speak to guest services, no problem. We spent our first night in this room. The bed was comfortable and we had a good rest minus the fact that someone attempted to break into our room at around 1:30 in the morning. The windows to the washroom are like louvers and can easily be moved, very scary. The next morning we went up to the main lobby and met with guest services, we were told that the resort was completely booked and that they would not be able to move us. I then went to our travel rep (nolitours) and insisted that we be moved and offered to pay a premium rate to be moved - the rooms in the 200 block are not acceptable by any stretch of the mind.
We were moved into a 400 block room which was absolutely gorgeous, these are the pictures that you see online. The nice marble washrooms, the bright clean rooms ... the 4+ star expectation. We loved our 2nd room and felt bad for those stuck in the 200 block.

The food is acceptable but very repetitive. You want to get to the buffet early so that there is still fresh fruit available. The lunch selection is the same over and over. There are two buffets, the one furthest from the lobby is the better one, it has more selection. If you can receive an a la carte reservation you are lucky. We only received our one a la carte reservation from our check in, and we were there for 14 days. The website says that is has unlimited reservations, it lies. By day 12 i went to guest services and had to be very stern regarding this matter, we were then given 2 a la cartes. The food at the a la cartes is wonderful. To be put on the list to receive a reservation you must stand in a long line in the lobby every morning to be added to a wait list. Yes, that's right a wait list. The 1st person in line is on the list just like the 30th. The names are then put into a lottery type system and spits out reservations. You will not know if you have a reservation until approx 4-6pm the same day. They have to wait to see if the VIPs or time share people want reservations - the restaurants are always empty it's bizarre.
You will be harassed by the time share people, it's annoying. Every time you leave you room there will be one on the corner, then another one on the way into the buffet and then another one when you leave and then another one on the way to your lounger - ridiculous.
On a positive note, you will not have any trouble finding a lounger they do have a lot and the grounds are well maintained. There are however a few sections that smell like sewage. We were unable to leave our patio door open because of the smell outside our room.
The entertainment is below average, Michael Jackson is just 35 min of crotch grabbing. The best part of the show is when they pulled the drunk guy on stage. The staff responsible for putting on activities during the day were never seen. They did not organize pool volleyball or basketball although the equipment is there. In order to use the volley/basket balls you must sign them out and there is only one of each so keep your fingers crossed that 6 year old doesn't have it and is floating on it in the water all day.

A long story short, this resort is pretty. There are a lot of pretty flowers and trees and the pools are very well kept. The food, service and depending on the room you get are below the 4+* level. We would not recommend this resort to anyone. It may be easier to get a better room or a la carte reservations if you do not travel here during peak season but the staff is not overly friendly either. There are no a whole lot of Olas from any of the staff. I would save your money and invest it into another resort, this one is not worth your time and money.

Room Tip: Only accept a room outside of the 200 block. Spend the extra $$ and book a jr suite .
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank eaustin81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virden, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2012

we stayed here for 2 weeks in jan of 2012 and let me tell you. it is no 4 star we stayed in the 300 block rooms are of a 2 star the fridge is never filled. we had to steal beer for booze cart,it rolls up around 11 am has sprite and coke too grab as much as you can. bars shut down at midnight which sucks.the food is o.k for one week but that all i could handle. it was so blaa. so if you go walk down the beach toward ocean world get up on the road there is a 5 or so great places to eat Chris and mady's is the best he is a canadain and the food is better than the keg it is great we ate ther and at the place closest to the resort, they have the bewst wings and ribs .please go off the resort it very safe and you will be glad you did!! the water slide was broken and the pearl resturant caught fire the last day. no joke to bad it did not burn down lol under staffed and over worked is the staff also watch out for the white shirt guys time share they are every where . the best part of the trip is we met up with a close friend of our mary jane she was nice and not hard to find she had us laughing every day and thank god for that . take care go see chris and mady..

Room Tip: don't go or pay more for vip
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank toddjennbeltz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2012

I start by saying that we came back home 4 nights earlier, because my 2.5 year old got really sick and it was a matter of serious health issues. As a result we've been there for a week, and after 3 days of stay picked up some kind of stomach bug (... waiting to hear back from pediatrician if it's cholera or even malaria). My son has severe diarrhea, vomiting, and low grade fever for 5 days already, and we adults have same symptoms but no fever. This vacation was a waste of my money and my kid's health. I never write any reviews, but this time it's different - I don't want anybody to be in the same situation running around like crazy and worrying if you can make it alive from there instead of relaxing on a beach and enjoying nice warm weather.

DON'T BELIEVE GOOD REVIEWS! People who write them were either too drunk to see anything happening around them or people who have vacation plans and invested good amount of money into this hotel! Pretty much everyone who were travelling with us from the airport to this hotel, were in shock after discovering their motel like rooms, inedible restaurants and BAD service!

If you decide to book this hotel, there are some points to consider:

1. It's NOT kids friendly resort - kids pool is poorly located right below adults only area, and all the trash is coming down from there to kids pool (cigarettes buds, plastic cups and other trash), slide doesn't work (it hadn't been working since December, and nobody even tries to fix it), people wash their feet in kids pool on their way to the bar. There is not much of kids entertainment and no kids menu selection, and no good quality juice selection.... milk is just horrible. Kids playground is really small, unclean, and doesn't have any soft foundation that you will find in other resorts. It's situated in a dirt with stones and sand. I have seen children cutting their toes and fingers on that playground.

2. It seems like adult-only hotel - much of drunk crowd.... I guess if you keep everybody drunk, nobody would notice how crappy hotel really is. Just a thought: you feel like living Jersey Shore :) lifestyle

3. Rooms are just not up to 4 star standards - we changed 3 rooms. When we first arrived, we got into small, smelly, dirty sheets, and cockroaches filled room, and even though we booked two beds, they put us into 1 bed.... I have no idea how three of us were supposed to fit on one bed with the child (cribs are so tiny, that only fit small babies). Second room was better and renovated, but really FAR from the beach, pools and food, and right next to the road), then next morning we had a flood ( I still hope it wasn't sewage), and then we got moved into junior suite, which was updated and renovated, but nothing worked in there :) - fridge, tub.

4. AWFUL SMELL everywhere - on the resort, on the beach, in the rooms. Everything smells like sewage. After arriving home at the airport, my husband said that we smell like it :) and all our bags, and clothes.

5. FOOD IS HORRIBLE...... When I booked this hotel, I was really nervous reading bad reviews, however I thought that maybe people are too picky, thus they are unhappy. However, I was wrong!!!!! Soups are just inedible: watery salty grayish (greenish) liquids with some or none vegetables or gray meat swimming on the bottom. All cut up vegetables are sour; fruits are not sweet and selection is really small. Deserts are usually cakes, that you have to cut up yourself. When you first come to buffet, it seems like there are a lot of food to eat, but when you try, nothing tastes or looks appetizing. No big seafood selection - none for breakfast (other resorts serve salmon for breakfast), one for lunch and one for dinner. Plenty of chicken, we only ate rotisserie, because steamed chicken dishes were not well cooked (bloody at the bones). If something was fried, it was overcooked and hard to chew. The safe food is white rice, french fries (thank God for those), boiled eggs, and bread.

It's not hard to get reservation to the restaurants (unless you are lazy to get to reception by 8 - 8:30 in the morning), however food there is not much better, and selection in salad bars and drinks are the same as at buffets.

6. Staff has serious attitude problems.... I asked for water at the reception, they said to let maid know. hen I asked her, she said to call to the reception... hm
I have to run all across the resort three times to get the right lock for strongbox, because they have no idea which room has which. It took them 2 days to supply water bottles in the room. They never came to fix the fridge or bathtub or shower (where water just didn't go down).

I would never go back.

Room Tip: Suites or Junior suites (numbers 40s). 200s are located far away from the beach and pools. 300s are...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank MilochkaR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 January 2012

I'm a simple farm boy from Northern Michigan and this is my 8th all inclusive resort and this is the 1st bad resort I have been to. Believe the other reviews and don't come here. I am in the lobby right now (since I can't get internet in my room like it says online) Also the safes in the room you have to pay extra to get a key and lock for. Just beleive the other bad reviews on here. The grounds and beach are great but the food is just bad. Unless you have the gold bracelet all you get is "classic" branded liquors at the bars. Never heard of them. None of the 6 of us have gotten sick but honest to god last night we tried to eat the buffet and it was so bad that one of the guys in our group went to the store and bought ramen noodles and chips for all of us. Anyway I am done with the complaining. I hope this review helps some of you book a different resort in time. Stay at any of the RIU resorts out there. They are great!!! You know what you are gettign everytime.

Room Tip: The tour was cool just to see what all they have to offer but no b.s the tour lady said "you gu...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank TomS8285
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort

Property: Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Address: 1 Paradise Drive | Cofresi Beach, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Be Live Grand Carey)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 468
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort – Dominican Republic is the newest jewel in the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Club. Nestled along the Cofresi beach shores, and overlooking the sparkling Caribbean sea, this resort caters to the luxurious enjoyment of both families and couples looking for that perfect getaway. With 468 well-appointed accommodations that range from Adult Only Spa Suites, to Standard family friendly rooms located in a quite setting between the ocean beach and spectacular pool, this is a paradise worthy of the Lifestyle name. The resort was created with space and comfort in mind, making Cofresi Palm a relaxing, enjoyable and satisfying experience for all guests and their families. All rooms have air conditioning, cable television, phones, and ceiling fans, while the decor has a distinctive design, featuring dark wood furnishings. Shaded patios and verandas provide a relaxing place to gather in some of the units. Providing both service and features that are standard for a Lifestyle property, the Cofresi Palm offers a unique luxury accommodations experience. Cofresi Palm provides the easy, relaxed ambiance of the Caribbean in an opulent and elegant setting. Experience the array of beauty and excitement that Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sun Village Puerto Plata
Sun Village Hotel Cofresi
Dominican Republic Sun Village
Sun Village Dominican Republic
Sun Village Spa
Sun Village Resort Dominican Republic
Sun Village Resort Puerto Plata
Sun Village Beach Resort
Sun Village Resort Spa Puerto Plata
Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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