I don't even know where to begin with this place. We were scheduled to stay 5 nights (2/3-2/8) but were forced to stay 3 extra nights because the noreaster back in Boston canceled our flights back home.
We went to Lifestyle with 17 people, 13 of which were in 2 villas. My girlfriend and I, as well another couple stayed at the Tropical in VERY basic rooms. They had the gold blacelet which gets you into everything. We had the yellow bracelet, which CheapCarribean.com told us was VIP, but couldn't have been further from the truth as we couldn't get into any of the "nicer" restaurants or beaches on the whole resort (unless you paid off the bartenders or the security) in some places like serenity beach.
The villas themselves were awesome, they had their own pool, flat screen tv, bedrooms, wifi, and a person that came every morning to make a crappy breakfast for them so they didn't have walk to the crappy breakfest buffet like the rest of the pool souls at the resort.
In our room at the tropical all the power went out the first night, which was pleasant. Certain things didn't work like the TV or the fridge; but we weren't there to stay in the room, we were there to drink and relax and as long as our AC worked I didn't really care. The AC in the other couples room didn't work any night for the entire 8 night stay and regardless of how many times they called to have it fixed no one ever showed up.
The first night we were there was the night of the super bowl and they put on a huge "superbowl party" where they had a massive tent with tons of overcooked, tasteless food. They did however have a few bar tents set up to drink. They had the game on 3 huge projection screens with the audio playing on a giant stage set up for music, it was pretty legit....that is until midway through the 2nd quarter when they muted the game and a black Kenny G came out and played the saxiphone for 20 minutes. It was the most bizzare thing I've ever seen. Anyone there who actually wanted to watch the game, left.
I'm not a food critic and I know I'm spoiled for growing up in New England and eating great food all the time but I've traveled all over the world and have never eaten food so bad. The only thing that I could stomach each morning was an omelate which they overcooked each day as well as (dominican style) fruit loops in a bowl of (I swear to god) breast milk. You know it's not good milk when they keep it mixing all day in a slushy machine.
Best food advice I can give is make reservations for the places that ARE NOT a buffet. The italian restaurant (Belini), the chinese food restaurant, and the mexican restaurant were the only ones we liked and ate at multiple times.
The only thing worse than the food was the service. They were the most unhelpful, manipulative, and shady people I've ever encountered and to make things comical, under each persons name tag was "we're here for you" which was like a slap in the face. You expect to be pestered by people trying to sell you things when you go to a country like this but the extent in which people go to sell you anything is both ridiculous and annoying.
ALSO: If you want to make it back home alive, stay away from the catamaran!!! For $70/person we were told we could go on a 25 person catamaran all day and drink, eat, and go snorkling. This was the only thing we left the resort to do. We all woke up early to catch an 8am bus that took us 30 minutes away to a catamaran which already had 50+ people on it (there were people on the roof it was so packed!!) We thought the tour guide was joking when 17 of us showed up and told us to head onto the boat. Long story short we didn't get on the boat (cuz we had a brain in our head) and demanded they take us back we were curse out the service people and after an hour got our money back.
Bring cash for tips, specifically all smaller bills because they WILL NOT break down USD for you even though they have it.
Last little story that pretty much sums up this place: The Wifi "Business Center" charges $4 for 15 minutes of wifi. We walked in and gave the kid working there 4 $1. As we were leaving this couple walks in and said we'd like to do 15 minutes and hands the kid a $5. The kid looks at the guy right in the eyes and says "Sorry sir, I don't have change for that" and the people walked out. We couldn't believe it, we had just given the kid $1's, he had them right behind the desk but he lied about it anyways. This happened everywhere! They would lie right to you face, even the "currency exchange" station refused to break down $20's for you.
I'm clearly venting but this was one of the most ridiculous experiences I've ever had. I don't understand how there are any positive reviews on this site about this place. Once again, I'm not rich, not a snobby food critic, and I've never written a review in my life, just couldn't let this one go after that experience. Beautiful beaches, beautiful resort (externally), but everything else was brutal. If you want a nice tropical experience go to Aruba, it'll be more money but at least you won't feel like you're being taken advantage of.
- 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:
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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