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“good but not great”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 40 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Alberta
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“good but not great”
Reviewed 5 January 2010

Just returned on Sunday, some good points some not so good. Resort is very clean, staff is friendly and efficient. Food was okay, you get tired of the same menu every day, for breakfast and lunch. Dinner's were a different assortment each night, but seemed like they just added other ingrediants to the stuff they had the night before! Don't get me wrong, if you can't find something to eat, you are a very picky eater! But after 7 days we looking forward to different food. We did take the advise of others and tried the restaurant down the beach--it was good for a change of pace. The two restaurants we booked at Bellini and Blue Lagoon were good meals...great ambiance and great staff. The new Years gala was awesome, great food!! great drinks, music and fireworks....fun night!
Rooms were fine, nothing special, beds were on the hard side...and make sure you pay for the key to the safe. Someone stole my light track jacket from my room--their reply was "that's too bad", no attempts made to locate it. Ordered a taxi for the trip back to the airport, they did not show, finally managed to convince another driver to get us there--we were already 45 minutes behind schedule only had 20 minutes before we boarded! Paid $50 for the booked taxi and then had to pay another $50 for the one that actually got us there. Watch what you have for carry on luggage....security will confiscate anything they don't like or want you to have, or want for themselves....and then pretend they don't understand english! Puerta Plata city tour was fabulous! Walk to Ocean World, some great shows but not far enough away for a taxi, just head up the beach! Lots of loungers to go around,

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlbertaTessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 December 2009

Overall, the place was beautiful and the staff was excellent. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We stayed in the crown residence suites, it was gorgeous and they make you feel special. The rooms were spacious and clean. The entire facility was clean. The Mexican restaurant is the best one there. They had a magnificent Christmas Eve party. The only unpleasant thing was the selection of drinks, the top shelf liquors are located just at the VIP beach and they were limited. There was not so much of a selection of liquors at the swimming areas and other bars. The night before we were leaving we found another market near the gift shops where you can buy top shelf liquors!! Wish we knew, but we survived and had an unforgettable experience. When I planned my trip I was worried about the bad reviews, pay them no mind because we had a wonderful time there.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Funinthesun422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NEWBURGH NY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2009

THERE IS A HARD SELL routine on the day after arrival to pitch timeshares.THE staff(ROLANDO) OFFERS to give YOU A tour of the resort, free shirts and a bottle of rum AND INSTEAD TAKES YOU TO another sales REP WHERE YOU ARE pitched ON THE VALUE OF THE timeshare. This will easily take a few hours of your limited vacation time WILL EASILY take A FEW HOURS OF YOUR TIME AND WHEN YOU ARE returned TO YOUR room IT WILL BE WELL after YOU ARE allowed TO SIGN UP FOR THE A LA CARTE DINNER.

I believe the staff are trained to make you as frustrated as possible with booking the restaurant and it was very clear to us after two attempts that taking advantage of the a la carte dinners was almost impossible. There is a GREAT deal OF DIFFICULTY in BOOKING YOUR restaurant RESERVATIONS AND YOU NEED TO GO TO THE LOBBY DAILY AT 1PM IN ORDER TO BOOK dinner FOR THE FOLLOWING NIGHT. THERE IS ONLY ONE restaurant OPENED PER NIGHT AND THERE ARE NO A LA CARTE restaurants OPENED ON THE NIGHTS OF THE theme PARTIES. LOBBY staff MAKE IT AS DIFFICULT AS POSSIBLE TO BOOK dinner reservations. The lobby staff was also less than helpful when our safe key was lost. They had another key to the safe at the lobby desk and charged us an additional 20.00 replacement charge. They did not change the lock and when we returned the next AM with the key to get our 20.00 back, we were told that the money was not refundable. Keep in mind that there was no lock change and no need for the lobby staff to assist beyond giving us a duplicate key they had at the desk.

Don't be lured in by the advertising and the VIP bracelet bonus.

DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE VIP bracelets AS EVERYONE AT THE resort HAS ONE AND IT IS MERELY A GIMMICK OF advertising THAT YOU ARE told YOU ARE "VIP". THERE IS NO top SHELF LIQUOR served AT THE RESORT AND EVERYWHERE YOU GO THE bartenders ARE PUSHING A cheap RUM THAT IS locally MADE. I believe IT IS CALLED "BRUGAL" . THERE IS only ONE beer ON TAP " EL PRESIDENTE" THE TAP LINES IN THE BARS NEED TO BE cleaned BECAUSE THE BEER HAS A distinct SKUNK aftertaste when tasted. SKIP THE buffet All TOGETHER AS THE FOOD IS AWFUL AND WE ended UP SICK TO OUR stomachs FOR 2 OUT OF 7 DAYS.

WE WOULD recommend avoiding THE CHEAP caribbean re pAS THE pricesFOR THE EXCURSIONS ARE excessively HIGH AND THERE IS A "BAIT AND SWITCH" WE booked A fishing EXCURSION AND before departing WERE informed THAT NOT ENOUGH people HAD signed UP. IF WE wanted TO GO OUT fishing, WE HAD TO PAY AN ADDITIONAL 20.00 PER PERSON. We paid the additional monies and are still scratching our heads as to what we were paying for. The boat did not have additional room or equipment for any more people to fish that day. THE FOOD on the fishing BOAT WAS SOME OLD ham SANDWICHES ON STALE rolls. THE DRIVER stopped ON THE WAY TO THE fishing PIER AND bought TWO 40 OUNCE BEERS FOR ALL ON THE boat TO SHARE. THE room WAS NICE BUT THE bathroom HAS NO shower DOORS AND THE BATHROOM IS saturated EVERY TIME THE shower IS used. THE maid SERVICE WAS fair AND WE tipped HER DAILY. On the day of the departure we tipped an additional 20.00 AND SAID THANK YOU. AS I WALKED AWAY, SHE CALLED ME CHEAP IN SPANISH. DIDN'T APPRECIATE THE COMMENT.

There are no elevators AND WE WERE PUT IN A ROOM BY construction AND YOU CAN hear THE work EARLY IN THE AM. WE asked TO move AND were put IN A room IN THE EXACT SAME location ON THE GROUNd floor. IT DID NOT MAKE ANY difference. IF YOU WANT TO GO into THE city, TAKE THE local BUS and SKIP the overpriced TAXI; IT IS simple TO TAKE THE bus, walk OUT THE main entrance AND STAND across THE ROAD; THE bus runs every 15MIN DOMINICAN TIME. Please contact us if you have any further questions; travelers beware of this tourist trap. We originally booked at the sun village resort and were switched to the lifestyle after sun village resort closed. We would not recommend this resort to anyone that we know. The inexpensive price is still too costly for the minimum food, service and amenities of this resort.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank matt911967
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 December 2009

We booked this vacation through an owner (www.vrbo.com/230779) along with friends we don't' get to see often (they live in another state). We had the greatest time. We ate at the V.I.P. Gourmet twice and the Mexican restaurant another night. The food was top top quality! The buffet was good although not as good as the other restaruants. We only ate there during lunch. We went to the Spa twice and I love it! The beach party was a lot of fun and the entertainment was excellent. We stayed in a villa and we had breakfast cooked for us every morning! We were particularly fond of the V.I.P. beach and were able to eat some great sushi and drink great drinks there. (The Pina Colada with Bailey's Irish Cream was my favorite!) The staff was outstanding and friendly. While we were there we noticed that they are in the middle of growing. There was a billboard illistrating a little shopping village that they plan on opening in about a year and they recently acquired several luxury bungalows. Before I wrote this review I was curious about the bad reviews so I read some. I disagree with most of what was written from lack of cleanliness to rude staff. Everyone was sooooo friendly and our accomodations were spotless! WE HAD A GREAT TIME AND CANNOT WAIT TO GO BACK AGAIN!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Bria245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2009

This was my/our 3rd visit and we were delighted.Not only are the people the nicest I've seen anywhere, always helpfull and polite but if treated nicely they'll go all the way to please you.They may not respond well to the snobs!
The room was finewell equiped even with a private safe, clean, bed a bit firm, balcony a very nice place to relax.(with a beautifull view to a garden)
The buffet was always well stocked with great variety of foods. Everybody's favourite was the morning omelette, and you had to stand in a line.Coffee absolutely super, unlike the standard North american watered down "liquid"!
There is a good variety of local fruit, we feasted on(namely perfect papaya) many kinds like pineapple,watermelons,their apples could be better my wife's favourite was a very good passion fruit. The milk and egges are much better here, also most fruits are grown organically, I mean with no pesticides.Chicken is fine, I've had better.Some foods need to be prepared with more care.
As many guests mentioned you can order many drinks for free and even food at the VIP area(beach) The things I love most here are the always smiling, friendly servers, staff members etc.(But..nobody likes habitual complainers, whiners and snobs!) We had realy a great time on 24th and 31st, the food was absolutely perfect, and since you pay an additional $45 on each of those X-mas days, you'd expect this for sure.They do not disappoint you.The whole VIP area was meticulously laid out and just beautifull,full of perfect fresh flowers, even with very impressive fireworks. I've seen better only at Magic Kingdom in Orlando. So, in closing I highly recomend this resort to anybody, there are 4 nice pools, people play volleyball, once we saw a show in lower pool, which was quite magical at night.One can play ping-pong and exercise on less than perfect machines but if you realy want to exercise, you will easily do it on these.Before you go , make sure you have some change to tip(although(not necessary ),just say loud "NO" to the agressive time share people.Forget the "free" gift.Also do me a favour, complain about the noise,untill they do something about it.The whole place will be even better. (the helicopter pad should definitely be REMOVED from the VIP area!!! It is more noise and accident waiting to happen.)
By the way,the only thing I missed in the buffet is a real orange juice,(100% natural, NOT from concentrate) they do not have it,just orange water, or whatever it is.I also thought that the seafood should be better.Unless one is used to a very upscale 5 star restaurants, one will find the food worth the money. Where else could you eat 3x a day or more for $30?. Now they hiked it up to $40/day- a bit steep rise, eh? As for the "a la carte restaurants, enough was said by the others, I found them no better, perhaps a more private atmosphere. We are of course VIP members and as such , greatly enjoyed the free computer use in a VIP area, down the road to VIP show/pool.The beach is just fine, I've seen better but it does it for us. We took frequent walks the whole length every second day. As for getting a bed in a beach VIP area, that is a bit unreasonably difficult.Once when my wife reserved the bed by placing he towel and a book on it, it was thrown out by another "guest". That is very disrespectfull, folks! The entertainment happens in a small amphiteatre and is just OK, up to quite good.It depends on a day.My only huge problem with this resort is the 24th or 31st of December when super LOUD bands are entertaining you at VIP area.They are so pervasively NOISY that we had to repeatedly complain. A lot of people left by 10pm, just realy tired of this higly disturbing NOISY show.(The music itselkf was very good so it is sahmefull to turn up the volume like this.) I am a bit surprised non of the comments mentioned that at all.To me it is quality of the music over the "cheap thrills" that matters.
Once I went on a trip to Santo Domingo , it is worth the $$$ but beware: It takes 3.5 hrs to get there and same time back.So you start at 6:30 am leaving in a van for about 9 people and come back in time for a supper.They take care of the food.That leaves less than enough time to realy see S.D.Once is enough, though an interesting trip.TheLas Vegas style show at the Casino was just superb!!! The quality was better than shows in Vegas(been there 4x)It was free too! Oh, avoid the ever expensive long distance calls!!!
When booking the junior suite ask for one on top floor, at the ground floor you'll be "greeted daily by loud noise from the many walkie-talkies" used very early am by the NOISY staff.They do not seem to realize people actually sleep at 6 am, ha? I had to use ear plugs.all oin all,this resort is more like a 4 star than 3. I hope you'll enjoy it, we sure did. Jan

  • Stayed December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ottawakolumbus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Poughkeepsie, New York
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2009

Other reviews had us worried about Lifestyles. However, everything worked out well.

Wanting to confirm rather that repeat other reviews, the accommodations were fine. The AC pumped out on demand, the bed was comfortable, although the furniture a little worn. The shower design was incorrectly engineered so the water didn't properly flow out. It took a push with your foot to get the proper flow. The food was what we'd call "reasonable", some no, some OK and some better - with a few flashes of really good. The themed dinners at the buffet were done well and particularly the Italian dinner was better than the specialty restaurant Bellini. The pools were very well maintained and there were many more lounge chairs than patrons. The swim up bar is a hoot. The grounds were especially well done and interesting. The staff was excellent, which helped make the stay as enjoyable as it was - except of course for the timeshare guys (and we say guys because they were all male). They have a job to do but they detract from the overall atmosphere. We would laugh and tell them "been there, done that" and they'd leave us alone - but it would be much better without them.

Since we booked through Cheap Caribbean, yes we were VIP. The beach was great as was the staff, especially Hector and Ezequiel who worked hard always maintaining a sense of humor. The Sunday welcome dinner was done beautifully (a lot of work each week) and the Thursday show at Ocean World quite entertaining.

Come to relax and enjoy. Just don't drink the water!

Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank kbrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hooversville Pa.
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2009

We went to Lifestyles, after booking with Sun Village, to find out it was closed down,
We travel to the DR quite frequently, and have tried several different resorts.
I must say, that at first impression, I wasn't impressed by this place the lobby. wasn't so nice, believe first impessions set the mood. But during our stay I relized the old saying of "don't judge a book by it's cover" stands true,
The rooms are nice, but not as fancy as other resorts, but, I decided not to let this be an issue, don't get me wrong the rooms are nice and kept very clean, just not as fancy as other places I've been, The first resort I ever went to was the Colonial Mejestic, in Punta Cana, cost alot more, but was beautiful. Still, after spending 10 days at lifestyles, I have to say the Mejestic, doesn't hold a candle when it comes to fun and activity.
Lifestyles, has a beautiful VIP beach which you really don't have to be a VIP to go to, with beautiful king size beds with canopies. and curtians you can close if you just don't want to be bothered and take a snooze. At the VIP beach you never have to leave during the day to eat or drink, in fact you don't have to even get out of the jacuzzi (which there are about 7 big jacuzzi's there on the beach) to eat or drink, the wonderful staff there will bring it to you including the menu's! What wonderful service. of course you have to tip. but you can tip a $1.00 or give them $10.00 for the day,and they're keep coming back for the whole day without further tipping.
Of course you should tip, these people work for peanuts. All the staff at the place are very nice.
Now the time share people do becoming trying at best, but after a few days of saying no thank you, they stop bothering you.
The main resturant had theme night each nite and sometimes I didn't like it, the food isn't the best, but if you can't find something to eat then there's something wrong with you.
We went tothe Sunday night welcome party and it was fabulous, do not miss this if you go.
Tuesday night there's a pool side barbeque, and barbeque isn't the word for it, it was fantastic, with live intertainment on the pool, beautiful!
Thursday night you have the ocean world party, which is alot of fun, music, and dancing if you want, then you can enjoy the casino, of there's a dance club at the top of the building. Just going and seeing this place is worth it. We did go to Ocean Wold itself, but weren't very impressed, for $52 each, but we are use to sea world, and Disney world.
But it was nice, but don't expect Sea World.
We rented a cab with another couple we met who are VIP members and have Villa there, now these Vila's are beautiful, and have a maid come in every day and make breakfast, we went with this couple to Pureto Plata and saona for the day, total cost of the cab split by 4 was $70.00 can't beat that, and Bestista, our cab driver was the best, we even got to see where he lived and met his son, and some other family members.
The Ahora resturant is within walking distance down the beach a fun place, and bar, You rent a cab for $6.00 to go to the Casino, which is only about 10 min. away, or visit Cris and Matty's resturant and walk over to the Ahora Resturant and Bar.
Seems very safe there, Downtown Pureto Plata is nearby and a must see, go there, get out walk the cute streets and visit their stores How wonderful. We took the cable car ride to Mount Isabelle De'Torres, ( I probably spelled that wrong) but the trip up that mountian was breath taking,
Over all the first few days I was a little sick, (unusal for me) I think it was the stress of the trip. (flight was changed, ect.) and at first when I got there, I said I wasn't ever coming back to that place, again, I am use to more fancier places, but the staff won me over, and the place is beautiful. Its a great value and what you make of it is up to you. Building and grounds are beautiful and very pictureristic. Enjoy, if you don't have a good time its your fault.
Enjoy, and oh, for a person that said she won't never come back for the first 2 days there, we're going back Feb 8, 2010 for 9 more glorious day.
Smile.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wisconsinagent8
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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