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Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort
Ranked #13 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Kitchener, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“HONEST REVIEW”
Reviewed 25 January 2012

We stayed at the Grand Ambar from Jan14-21, we were travelling with 5 adults (ages 33,34,36,38,60) and 4 children (almost 3,4,5,7).
We booked with nolitours, all together and had 2 rooms in building 207 and 1 room in building 702. It took 2.5 days to get all of the rooms in 207 as the 702 room was on the 3rd floor and had no elevators. It was hard for the kids (5 and 2) to go up and down the stairs as they were always slippery. All of the rooms were very run down, sheets were frayed, towels were stained and frayed, the locks on the patio doors did not work and took 3 days to fix. The air conditioning in 1 room was broken for the last 3 days, called many times to the reception but nothing was done about it. The 24 hour snacks were in another building, if you wanted a drink at night you had to go to the bar by the lobby or pool- not so bad if you are close by but not so great if you are farv away. We did get harrased by the guys in the white shirts trying to get us to go for a time share info session. Not so fun while on vacation with kids. The grounds were beautiful and the scenery was amazing. Their was a very strong smell of sewage that came and went the entire week. The pools were well maintained all except the childrens pool. It was dirty. The food in the buffet was not so great but we nevery went hungry. Your vacation is what you make of it and we had fun as a family just being together. We played in the sand and swam in the pool by the beach. Would we go here again? Never.

Room Tip: Their are no elevators, so it stairs are a problem ask to be on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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2 Thank 111Liz111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Indiana
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

First of all, I must say the staff is OUTSTANDING! Please don't let these negative reviews detour you, as you just can't make some people happy.

As for the food, well it's organic!!!!! If you want amricanized fried food or even sprayed veges, then go elsewhere! Here they serve FRESH FOOD!!! I can't say enough about the Chef here that has made this resort a 5 star









The staff is 5 star, the food is FABULOUS!! What more can you want? It's so sad to see that you that you just can't make some people happy. Just come and experience this place, you'll see, It's. incredible!!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank shellybean30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonfield, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

While at the Cofresi Palm (Grand Ambar) which is the other part of the Tropical, we talked with people who said "where were the people who write the bad reviews?" We had a clean room, plenty of towels, and good bed. We had good food at the buffet (we liked the Casa Blanca a bit better than the Pearl) and great food at the Mexican, Asian, Brazillian and good food at the Italian, Twilight and Indian. The beach is not super long, but, there are lots of places to go for a walk because the place is VERY large. The Sunday night welcome dinner and show was really well done with big screens, good sound system and fireworks. The staff could not have been better. A couple of people we talked to who were sick, admitted that they drank the water---never drink the tap water!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joyce B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

Let me start by saying I am a VIP member since 2004. This particular hotel ( Cofresi Palms) is now part of the Lifestyle Family. When you book a trip to this hotel you are gaining the use of most of the Lifestyle Experience (minus the VIP-only sections which are only for members who have spent money to purchase a membership with Lifestyle). So, bring your running shoes, cause this place is huge!!! So much to do and see.

When I read negative reviews from people coming to this resort on holiday it kind of makes me wonder. Keep in mind, usually only those few who did not have a good vacation take the time to write a review. DON'T FORGET, all the travellers who have had a wonderful vacation who don't bother to write a review. This is a very large, beautiful resort. The lobby has huge white curtains blowing in the breeze, there are so many spots to get away from the "crowd" and relax OR to join in around the pool for as much activity as you want. The beach is not huge but it is kept clean and is awesome for jumping in the waves. There are lots and lots of beach chairs directly on the beach to enjoy . The restaurants are many and good. Tapis Bar was a new one for us this year. It is a wine bar with great appetizers. We also tried the Indian Restaurant, Moontaz this year and loved it. The staff were so friendly and they try to hard to please you.

The Spa which was just recently opened is great. So relaxing and private.

My granddaughter joined in on the kid's program in the evening and won a competition. She was so excited. The staff was great.

We have travelled extensively through the Carribean for more than 30 years now. We bought into Lifestyle in 2004 and it has continued to just get better and better. Cofresi Palms is just another added surprise for us this year. Friends stayed there last year when it was B-Live and the rooms were great. Large, clean and modern.... (no complaints from them...they loved it).

We just returned from my daughter's wedding at LHVC Jan 5th to Jan 19th, 2012. I can't say enough to Yesenia de la Cruz wedding coordinator and to Stacey Smith, Customer Service Manager to let them know what a wonderful day it was and to thank them for their hard work.

I can't account for people who say they got sick etc.... Some people just "get sick". I do however think that the extensive use of alcohol, the sun and overeating has a lot to do with that. Not, the actual food, etc..... A person always has to take precautions when going to the Dominincan Republic at any resort you go to.

Cofresi Palms is a large , clean resort with numerous ammenities and access to the VIP parties at Lifestyle. Sometimes it is hard to get reservations at the restaurant you want.....but this is the same at any resort I have ever stayed at in the Carribbean. People book reservations and then don't show up. Not the hotel's fault. Even if you have to eat at the buffet a night or two...the food there was excellent and a great variety.

Hope this helps in making your decision to travel to Cofresi Palms Beach Resort and Spa. We LOVE the area, the people and the resort. We have been coming here since 2004.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Camilla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2012

Everything negative you have heard about this resort is true. How dare Noulitours call this a 4 1/2* resort. Together with Cofressi they have blatantly misrepresented what this resort is all about and they have ruined many people's vacation. Something must be done!

  • Stayed January 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Angrygramma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
3 Thank Ksct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
13 Thank Nick A
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:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 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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