Ok so let me start of by saying I was prepared for the worst when it came to booking with this resort solely based on the reviews on Trip Advisor. I scored a great deal with CheapCarribean.com for $19/per night All-inclusive. With a deal like that how could one complain? (Well just a little). I was prepared to feel like a 3rd class citizen. But that was not the case for me and my two friends’ .We had a great time and met some really cool people at the resort. We stayed for 4 nights from Aug 26-Aug 30 (during the time Hurricane Irene was in the US, which thank God didn’t interfere with our trip as it has for the majority for others. We were really blessed to have a good trip.)
My friends and I only had two caste system experiences. As we were wondering around the resort we came upon the VIP Serenity beach. As we approached the steps we were told we do not have access to this area. But we did have access to the V.I.P beach which is the same set up as the Serenity Beach excluding the hammocks. Our second experience was after the nightly show at the Coliseum as we were leaving we saw some people heading to the direction of the VIP Pool Bar area so we followed suit only to be denied entry because of our wristbands. Besides the VIP Pool area looking real swanky it was DEAD almost every night…like total of 10 people or so. So we were not missing out on anything. And the truth of the matter is the majority of the people residing in the villas or suites hang out in the Tropical Beach resort area because it’s lively and a focus of where a lot of things happen.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort & Spa is part of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort which includes 4 other resort properties enclosed in one area, so basically 5 living resorts in one. (The Tropical Beach, Presidential Suites, The Crown Villas, The Crown Suites, And THE RESIDENCE SUITES)This is the reason why there are different colored wristbands and different privileges that go along with them. Booking with the Tropical Beach gives you the basic all-inclusive privileges, booking thru Cheapcarribean.com (white bracelet) gives you some “VIP” perks such as access to the VIP beach and the “VIP Welcome Party and Ocean Word (only on Thursdays). This is the reason as some feel like it’s a caste system. The Tropical Beach resort is the budget resort (easy on the pockets) out of the 5 properties of the Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort. But do not be mistaken the rooms are just as contemporary as the other resorts on the property.
I manage to break down some of the color coding of the bracelet: white bracelet-cheap-Caribbean staying at the Lifestyle Tropical Beach resort, Gold shimmering bracelet: Presidential Suites, Blue bracelet: staying at the Crown Villas but is not an owner of it. Black bracelet: crème of le crème. Members that own the property they are staying at and have ALL the VIP privileges (even the cool helicopter rides to the airport). I saw a few with orange wristbands but didn’t get the opportunity to find out what it status meant.
Check-In: The lobby was very busy. Check-In was slow and disorganized around 4ish pm. The bell boy did a nice job explaining things about the resort and how certain things operate while carrying our luggage to our room.
Our Rooms: We were placed in Building 3 which was close to the lobby/bar and directly across from the Casablanca restaurant (all you can eat buffet). Our room was simple and clean and had a balcony with two chairs and a table. All the rooms have a balcony. The rooms were not outdated at all. The bathroom shower stall I was not too fond of only because there was no closing/barrier to prevent water from escaping the shower area, expect to use your white towels to soak up the water on the floor. The bathroom did have some toiletries. The AC and Fan worked very well. I loved the two big sliding closet mirrors. The TV had some US channels like ABC, CBS, and NBC which were great for tracking news reports on the Hurricane Irene. HBO in English was great also with the Spanish subtitles.
The Food/Drink: Man ..the buffet style food at the Casablanca restaurant was G-O-O-D. I honestly don’t know what is wrong with some of those reviewers’ taste buds if you couldn’t find one item of food that was good and to label the food as horrible. If you every paid $30 for buffet food at the Showboat at Atlantic City you would know that the buffet food there is horrible. So I have something to actually compare it to. Now let’s talk about the all-inclusive liquor they serve which s was downright HORRIBLE. I had had 3 drinks thru out the first day there and I got ill which gave me diarrhea. I stayed away from drinking all alcohol on the resort except from the VIP beach which serves REAL premium alcohol which I did not get sick at all. I spent most of the time eating from between Casablanca and the Blue Lagoon. The Blue Lagoon serves food when Casablanca is closed and prepping for the next meal time and it also stays open late nights when you’re hungry around 3 am in the morning like I was after partying..lol. You can also take you food to go from both restaurants just ask for a container.
We were able to book one reservation at the day of check in which was around 4 pm for the following day so we luck out because that restaurant still had availability. We ate at Trapiche Paradise (Mexican Restaurant). The food was somewhat good; certain items were a hit or miss, like their guacamole, which looked like runny green oatmeal. The margaritas were disgusting because they use the cheap nasty liquor. My soup and entrée was delicious.
The Welcome Party on Sunday’s is not to be missed. The food is in abundance and top of the line delicious. It felt like a big wedding reception party. The entertainment was on point. The saxophone player played his heart out. The fireworks …the champagne. It was wonderful.
SPA: Get the opportunity to get a tour of the spa it’s real nice. I booked an appointment for a nice package deal but cancel because I’ve spent too much money on excursions and shopping for gifts.
TIPPING: I didn’t do much tipping at the resort besides once at the VIP beach and for the bell boy who carried our luggage to our room and from the room during check-out. And I still received pleasant service. I do believe it’s about the aura you bring. You should ACKNOWLGE your servers and workers on the resort. Be friendly and say hello/hola..Buenos Dias. Stuff like that goes a long way.
Thanks to the reviews we were able to avoid the timeshare guys with their clip boards, mostly due to the fact that (1) they harass you at breakfast time at the Casablanca restaurant. Which we never had an opportunity to eat because of our early morning excursions or we missed breakfast time. They tried to talk to us but we just skip on by them and told them we don’t want any free gifts and kept it moving.
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- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, TravelUp, Hotelopia and Agoda so you can book your The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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