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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
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3,990 - 3,995 of 4,992 reviews
Reviewed 4 March 2010

I had never been to the Carribean before so I was really excited about the different experience of it all. The people were friendly, sometimes helpful and the food edible. I did get a little indigestion at times but if you're careful what you eat, you should be ok. Chambermaids were friendly but at times had to be prompted to even leave clean towels in the bathroom. Tipping definately got you better service. We took a Safari tour and it was fun...a little strange in that you walked into a school in progress and then a little home where the children were sitting in the main room, expressionless like monkeys in a zoo. I felt bad for them and very uncomfortable, which was a feeling that was shared by some of my fellow touristas. However the guide was wonderful and the tour otherwise fun. You did get a sense of what the country was all about.
At the resort the employees were mostly great...but stay away from the really obnoxious timeshare recruiters.
I don't think I'd ever go again but it was a fun vacation and I was sad to leave.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank booyeah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2010

I did not purchase the VIP upgrade package but did purchase some VIP options. The best first. Overall, the food at the buffet was good: filet, ribeye, kingfish, lobster, crab legs; variety breakfast foods with buffet and orders on demand; fruits; deserts weren't good; hot chocolate was sensational. (See below regarding food at restaurants). For the most, that concludes the good part of my review. Here is the rest. It rains -- all of the time and most activities are outdoor with little or no cover! The entertainment was horrible; like a kindergarten dance where every performer believes he or she is THE golden egg. There were NO golden eggs. For instance, in the resort highlight show, the "key" singer appeared in a flashy red vinyl tall boots and short-shorts costume to dance and -- ready for this? -- Lip-synch. No, really. And she didn't manage to do it well. That was the BEST show the resort presented. From there, it went downhill. Rapidly. For every (alleged) show, the music blasted. I suppose the outrageous volume was supposed to make up what was otherwise lacking, i.e., everything. Oh, my. I could go on. Organized activities? Uh, well, outside the daily water aerobics, there are none. The pool is NOT heated and the water IS FREEZING. There is no hot tub. The rooms are treated daily with pesticides so if you are prone to allergies, don't forgot to take your meds! My Cheap Carribean "representative" was okay. With good enough tips, the hotel bell captain named Jhonny (spelled correctly) was very helpful. Some of the desk clerks were receptive and friendly; others were not. There were two adults in our group, both with different agendas. They refused to provide two room keys. You get ONE key. Period. Then, we tried to leave the key for each other at the desk so as not to lock the other roommate out of the room when doing different activites. They didn't even want to do that and gave us some flack about it but finally agreed. The restaurant reservation coordinator named Luisa was horrible; what an attitude! There are specialty restaurants, but they are not all open each night. You must make reservations (the day before). The Blue Lagoon is the best. It offers seafood (but is always out of salmon). The Mexican food restaurant is awful. The salsa is sweet. Yeah, sweet. No enchilades. Limited menu. I didn't make it to the Italian restaurant but rumors were that it was bad. There is an oriental restaurant which I didn't try but I heard that it was good. While there, I heard from other tourists that Ocean World was super. I didn't get to experience it because without warning, it cancelled. (By the way, it was supposed to be a free activity in my package). Of course, no one thought it important to advise me so I stumbled on that knowledge eventually. (The lack of notice left me without restaurant reservations for that night so I returned to the buffet.) Private tours are probably the best way to go. I hired a driver named Juan (arranged by Jhonny) who was the best driver I have had in the U.S. and any other country. He was nice and drove carefully. His prices were reasonable. The maid service was okay -- so long as you tip. Otherwise, you will wind up without towels. The pillows stink and there didn't seem to be anyway to make that better. I supposed they soured because of humidity, but it makes you wonder about the people who used them before you did. The spa: Maria is the BEST for massages and facials. She is absolutely wonderful. The cost is negotiable, although the receptionist will suggest otherwise. The gift shop/store offers limited snacks. It does not take credit/debit cards. The cashiers were not particularly nice to deal with. The beach: awful. Small area; no white sand. For both the beach and the pool, there are limited chairs. Specifically, for the pool there are about a half dozen shaded areas. Be there by 8:00 a.m. to stake out your place. This is advertised as a family all inclusive but the accommodations were not kid-friendly. The internet is non-existent in the rooms. The lobby offers limited access for a fee. (I received emails by cell phone. Provider: Sprint.) I have done an all-inclusive previously in a third-world country. This resort was was not comparable to it. I have spent a fair amount of time in third-world countries, so my expectation was not above what it should have been. My advice: pick a different resort. (At best -- being generous -- this is a 2 star.)

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Coninc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2010

My boyfriend and I traveled to Puerto Plata in the end of January. We are a very relaxed couple with a carefree attitude and this resort really fit us. The food was average. We are from Chicago and are used to very large portions and delicious food. The food in Puerto Plata was enough to keep us full and satisfied. I am a very picky eater and was able to find enough to satisfy me for the week. We mainly ate at the buffet. It was kind of hard for us to make a reservation for one of the other options because during the 1-3pm time range we were usually in the ocean or out exploring. What was so great about this resort were the employees. They really went out of their way to make the vacation so great. They were upbeat and happy, happy, which is something we really appreciated. I loved all the acitifvites at the pool, it kept us entertained and awake. The VIP beach was great too. Get your fill of both areas, don't just pick one, because they are both GREAT. The rooms were average. Honestly, we didn't spend much time in the room other than sleeping and getting ready to go out. If you are a laid back couple who is just looking to have a great time, lots of fun and delicious cocktails (I reccomend the frozen lemonade with vodka or sex on the beach) then this is the place for you. If you are looking for a 5 star resort I would take a pass. This is for the cool and calm and laid back

One thing that bothered me just a tiny bit was the location. I liked that it was off the beaten path, but it was about an hour away from the airport which added unecessary travel time.

Like I said if you and your significant other have a very laxed attitude than this is the travel spot for you. We really enjoyed the staff, the atmosphere and the fun provided at the resort. If your are very snobby and are looking for a 5 star upscale place, this is not for you. This place is for the fun, happy, relaxed people.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank brenandky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

All i want to say is that everything about this hotel is terrible. Rooms, Service, Employees, especially front desk staff, kids club horrible, food is disgusting, drinks are terrible, jacuzzi at the VIP beach cold.... We could not wait to come home, thats how bad our stay was at this hotel. From the moment we checked in we were very upset, they did not have the two connecting junior suites we reserved, and were sent to a far away studio ap[artment that was supposed to be good but only had a king size bed and we are a family of 5. just stay away from this hotel if you want to have a good vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank babywiwi4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 February 2010

I was very disappointed by the resort. The grounds were well maintained but the beach area was not pristine and not private. I quess I was expecting Carribean blue and more sun at this time of year. The VIP beach area with the double stacked beds was quite comical in a hustler magazine type way, but not my idea of paradise. The really awful experience came when it was time to eat three times a day. They had very little fresh fruit and vegetables and the salad bar was very unappealing and minimal. The only good meal was served at the Blue Lagoon restaurant in the evening, it was hard to believe after eating there for lunch. The free bar was the only true plus of the resort.
One lasting perk,This is the only time I've lost 5 pounds on vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank will351Vermont
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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