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“Not a timeshare, it's worse than that.”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
New Bern, NC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not a timeshare, it's worse than that.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2011

Our 5 day trip was booked thru cheapcaribbean. From the time you arrive you have a confusing time of understanding of what you can do and go on the premises. Many different colored armbands and many levels of "VIP". Any form of orientation was a disguise to sell you a timeshare or tour. If you don't play the game and go to these things you will NEVER get a reservation to the better restaurants. You'll be stuck all meals at the buffet that is average at best. The drinks and beds at the VIP beach was the highlight, very nice, but better be in line to reserve one by 7am every day. Beware of the mixed drinks at the other lesser bars, as they seems to hurt our tummies, beer ok anywhere. Room was fine, don't care about the small TV, clean.
The day of leaving heard rumors that all miami flights had been canceled, went to our representative Dioby who lied straight face that nothing was wrong. He dumped us at the airport and promptly took off. We were stranded, a group of us had to rent taxi to Santa Domingo (6 hours) to arrange flights from there as there aren't many flights from puerto plata. Dioby works for a tour company and could have easily arranged travel to SD for us. Shame on him. Note to resort, stop all the levels VIPness and treat everyone decent, you'll sell more of the timeshares that way.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank NewBernNCguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bronx, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2011

tell it to my worst enemy so he/she can stay here. we wait for two hour for our room. surpriser the room wasn't ready. we went to eat at the buffet they do not give you bottle of water unless you are v.i.p (time share member). every restaurant have the same policy. the beach is not clean. you are only allow to be in one part of the resort cuz everything else is just for v.i.p or gold members. they will give you and orientation on which they will try to sell you the time share membership valuer $18,000.00 us and you have to give $9,000.00 at front. to get WiFi you must be in the V.I.P section of the hotel otherwise you are not get it for free. in the lobby area of the hotel you can get WiFi but had to pay $5 for an hour. the bathroom in the room is super small only one person at the time can go in. oh by the way we paid for an all include vacation. what a scam!!!!.......

Room Tip: become V.I.P and you will get the whole resort.
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank amab74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dummerston, Vermont
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2011

My 3 friends from highschool and I booked this vacation thru Cheap Carribean. At first we were skeptical from all the bad reviews that we read. Not to worry though - we landed at the airport and were taken to the resort. Handed a cold drink while we waited to be checked in. Our rooms were ready and we went directly to them. We changed out of our New England winter clothes and went to the VIP beach bar. We were served with a smile each and every time we ordered drinks (we also ordered food at the bar). 2 of us went on the Safari Jeep excursion with Carlos (the best) and had a wonderful time. We saw how the DR people live in the mountains without electricity and running water. My friend brought school supplies which she handed out (some other items were baseballs and hard candy) to the children when the jeep stopped. We tasted sugar cane, fresh coffee and had a tasty lunch prepared by locals. We ended the trip on a beach boogie boarding!! We went to Ocean World to go to the casino (it's a small casino - so don't expect Atlantic City size). We attended the gala dinner which had everything from cheese & fruit to lobster tail. Fireworks were spectacular! We had massages that we wonderfully relaxing. We celebrated one of my friends' birthday while we there and had dinner at the Italian rest. They had balloons on the chairs and also provided a cake for her! The rest of time we ate at the buffet. It is true that after 4 days it gets a little boring but you can also order from different menus at the beach bar and The Blue Lagoon is open for lunch without having to have reservations. Spent a few 1/2 days on the beach which was clean - water was like bathwater warm!! Timeshare people asked us the 2nd day to listen which we did but promptly told them that our husbands were not with us. If you are upfront with them they will leave you alone. We were never bothered the rest of the vacation. We were in bldg. 5 which also has a pool (it's a quiet pool w/out a bar). We did get 2 beach beds on the VIP beach - nice to have the personal service!! Shower does not have a curtain - I brought one from home along w/ duct tape - worked just fine!! A dollar or 2 dollar tip goes a long way - we got extra towels and always had cold items in the frig (we left 2 dollars each day for the maid). If you go, make sure you don't cut your bracelet off before check-out - you have to give it back to them. All in all, the four of us had a great time and find it hard to believe that other travellers had such a horrible experience.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Paula57230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Princeton, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2011

A "VIP" booking with Cheap Carribbean means that you are targeted as a potential buyer of the upgraded, and very lovely timeshare portion of the "resort". Apparently, everyone from all travel agencies is a "VIP" with a different color coded bracelet.

We didn't have high expectations for our room with a $20/night charge. After all, we were just there for the sun, beach, palm trees and fruity drinks. So, the non-functioning remote for the 19in box TV was okay. The malfunctioning AC, okay. The fact that we had to beg for towels and wash cloths every day (and tip someone for bringing them), not so okay. One day they removed the pillow cases and did not replace until we went to the desk... All for $20/night.

The first morning we were corraled by guys outside of the Buffet restaurant to meet after breakfast to get signed up for restaurants and learn about the services. That was a SCAM! It was really a tour of the timeshare facilities. We liked seeing the REAL "VIP" residences but never were able to sign up for restaurants. When they asked if we had good credit, sirens sounded in our heads. We didn't buy (even though we have good credit)!

The sales man acutually said that Lifestyles has an agreement with Cheap Carribbean to bring potential buyers in to stay in the disgusting, loud, uncomfortable portion of the resort with HORRIBLE food, in order to bring them through the sales pitch!

Each day we were told to wait in line for an hour for dinner reservations. Even when we were third in line, there were NEVER openings for a restaurant of choice (they are all booked for the real "VIP's"). The one night at Indochine was the worst, worst pseudo asian food ever.

The buffet for all meals offered THE WORST FOOD we have ever eaten, EVER. Nothing was hot OR cold. I don't know what kind of meat we ate except that it was all SUPER tough. The only edible breakfast was the omelet. At least it was fresh and hot. One day we had cold cereal with warm milk! We heard it was GOAT milk!

Whether it was the food prep or temperature or the water, were were both SICK for a couple of days! Be careful.

I would say that this place was great if you were in your 20's and on spring break and just wanted to drink, lay on the beach and not leave the resort. Those spring breakers next to us were loud and puking at 2am every night, yelling in the breezeway and slamming doors.
All of the male staff hitting on the young women, offering drinks and a night of dancing was very obnoxious.

Obviously, we would NEVER go back there. They couldn't even PAY us to go! We will never trust Cheap Carribbean again either!

We did relax and enjoy the weather, palm trees and blue water...

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank amigadelmundo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 March 2011

You will learn new rules about this place everyday. Although they may change depending on who you ask...
First let me say that we paid $20 a night per person for all-inclusive so you can't really complain much about what you get. There were some really great things and some really weird things about this place.
1- VIP beach was fantastic. We didn't even use it the first 2 days we were there but were so happy once we did. Get there early (7am or sooner) to claim your spot. Shouldn't be hard since the beds in our room were like boxsprings without the mattress we didn't sleep much anyway. We wanted the beds on the beach so we could finally get some sleep.
2- Tips really do matter. I brought about $80 in ones for 5 days and that was almost enough.
3- Buffet food was ok. We could find something to eat there everynight but it was never thrilling. We were only able to get reservations at the Mexican place and that was decent. (Everyone has a different story about how you actually get reservations, some wait in line, some listen to the timeshare speech and they book them, none of those worked for us so a small fit was thrown and we got one)
4-The doorman Luis gave us the name of a restaurant called "Shalom...." something. I can't remember the second word but it was his friends place. We took a taxi there for $20 for the 5 of us. It was the best food on the island and one of the best meals I've had in forever. All fresh organic vegetables (2 of my friends are Vegan and they were in love) 2 other guys meat eaters and they said the steaks were amazing. The owner's was Rene and he gave us a ride home in his truck afterwards. It was great.
5- Drinks were fine and plentiful. Most of the bartenders were decent and paid attention...again tips help.

I would say that this place was great if you were in your 20's and on spring break and just wanted to drink, lay on the beach and not leave the resort. We are all about 30 and would have preferred beds that were not rocks and to be able to eat in the other restaurants without having to beg, borrow, or steal to do so. People hung around the buffet trying to get you to go and visit the time share salespeople. They were rude and unfriendly for the most part so we just ignored them. If I had to pay over $20 a night to come back I would probably not. But for $20 a night it was ok.

Do the ATV excursion! You will get dirty but it is a ton of fun.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank KPNYC30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bronx, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2011

Just came back from 5 nights trip to this amazing all inclusive resort. Rooms are obiously not 5 star and if you are going to DR for such rooms you shouldnt go. Check in and check out are a breeze. They even offer you a drink while you wait in the line. There are bars everywhere which serve all kind of drinks. You arent going to see all the name brands except in the VIP Beach bars but they are awesome. Food is great. Rooms are clean. Beach is Great!! Multiple pools with various sports activities with pool side bars are just exceptional. Resorts workers are very nice, always serve with smile. They are also very professional and friendly at the same time.Overall, Bars gets 4.5 Stars. Food get stars. Beach gets 5 stars. Pools get 5 stars. Resort workers get 4.5 stars. Dont bother to make reservation for the restuarants they have...just go to Casablanca for snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will not be disapointed. All incluside actaully means ALL INCLUSIVE at this resort.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MahabNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
51 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2011

My family took a vacation to Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort and Spa during the second week of March 2011. It was our first trip to Puerto Plata and after reading the reviews, we were not sure of what to expect but ending up having a wonderful time.
We landed at Puerto Plata Airport as per schedule with Jet Blue Airlines (non-stop) and got into our transportation which was already waiting for us. Baggage boys were already asking for tips to load our suitcases into the bus but that was ok, $3.00 total for 4 large pieces. The bus had some sort of AC that was not working properly or simply outdated. After a 30-35 minutes drive from the airport, we arrived at our destination. Check-in was easy but having arrived early, the rooms were not ready, got our welcome drinks after which we were taken to the buffet for lunch. After lunch we checked in at the bar in the concierge area for a few drinks, got our wrist bands and headed to our rooms. Because of the room type we requested, two rooms with door between rooms we were placed in Building 1. The bellboy took us to our rooms.
Our rooms were small but very nice, clean and fairly comfortable with air conditioning and a nice view of the complex from the patio. I had a king size bed in one room and two queen in the other, kind of comfortable but the pillows were a bit flat but ok. The rooms were kind of noisy during the 12:00am-2:00am period because of the nearby pool bar filled with a group of early spring breakers.
The beach was wonderful, mostly clean and free of debris. The water was clear but at times very rough due to high winds. I did not visit the VIP beach area even though we had access by booking through Cheap Caribbean. Actually, the beach was the same but the beach beds with the services made the difference. I am not the type of person looking for a sun tan (got a natural one) or like sitting around so the beach bed was of no importance to me. Most people we talked to would get up, wait in line at 7am, grab one when they opened. Spent about 2 hours per on the beach floating around.
The pools were very clean and there was no rush to get a lounge chair early, since there was an ample supply throughout my stay. The swim up bar was on the cooler side since it is sheltered by the roof and with the wind from the beach, not much people visited that side of the bar. Drink was unlimited so you could get what you wanted, whenever you wanted from any of the bars.
We ate at the Casablanka buffet for most of the time and had no complaints. Our favorite waitress was Juana Diaz who did a great job in making us happy during our stay. The food was ok, not as great as some other resorts we had visited. Breakfast was fabulous, especially the omelet station, make it as big as you want, no problems. We had dinner at the Indochina restaurant one evening and at the Italian Bellini restaurant one night. Got the bookings during the VIP tour (30 minutes) so did not have to join the line in the lobby to make reservations. Our package with Cheap Caribbean for twenty dollars a day all-inclusive could not have been better, the service was fantastic.
In terms of things to do on the resort, we attended the Sunday night welcome party which was fabulous, went to the Ocean world and Casino one night, took the ATV tour one day (all fun). If you should take an ATV tour, please walk with a sun glass and a bandana to cover your mouth from the tons of dust the bikes generate from the trails. The best tour on the trip was the zip line, short but exciting and a good experience for first timers. Tipping is very important at these resorts and could land you VIP services sometimes without having to pay the big bucks.
We visited downtown Puerto Plata one afternoon but not much shopping, everybody recognize tourists and wants to rip you off. Laid back and relaxed for a few hours every day and enjoyed the vacation. The guys at the pool bar were always ready to provide you with some sort of interesting drink.
All in all, we had a wonderful vacation and would definitely recommend LifeStyles Resort to anyone wanting to have a good time.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sahadeo B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Cofresi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic (Formerly Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa)
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Plata
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 282
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set within the sprawling Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, The Tropical offers a classic hotel vacation experience set within quaint, two- and threestory, Mediterranean-style buildings. The mood is laid-back and distinctively Caribbean. Guest enjoy all resort facilities and amenities (excluding the V.I.P areas) including swimming pools, a choice of excellent restaurants, exercise rooms, tennis courts, windsurfing and so much more. The Lifestyle Tropical is Ideal for couples seeking a private island hide-away with all the advantages of a world-class resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort Spa
Hacienda Tropical
Hotel Lifestyle Tropical Beach
The Tropical At Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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