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“STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS PLACE, UNLESS YOU PAY $30 PER NIGHT”

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 39 Hotels in Puerto Plata
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“STAY FAR AWAY FROM THIS PLACE, UNLESS YOU PAY $30 PER NIGHT”
Reviewed 14 June 2010

Stay FAR AWAY from this place. It is a trap. The food is awful. Many of the employees are rude. My best friend, her 3 boys and myself and my 2 boys spend 1 week for spring break 2010 there. We spend about 10 thousand dollars as a group and felt ripped off. The hotel gave us a better room after we complained. It was a much nicer room. But the damage was done. Even in the new room the beds smell very bad. There was never a bed by trhe beach unless you got up to make a line at 7am. My friend and I have vacationed in Punta Cana, Hawaii and Mexico before and always had a great time. This was the worst vacation experience ever. our kids were miserable most of the time. they do have a great welcome party, but that's about it. After we called Cheapcaribbean we were told we had to pay an extra 1200 to move to another hotel 2 hours away. We felt trapped in hell. We expected free tix to Oceanworld and were very disappointed when we learned our voucher was a fake and we had to read the fine print hidden in the contract. it was my second Cheapcaribbean vacation and the first for my friend. I don't think I will ever book with your office again.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
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9 Thank CASTILLOISA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Jamaica, New York
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2010

My husband and I ended up booking this resort after finding an unbeatable deal on cheapcarribean.com for 7 nights that we just couldnt pass up. Based on the great deal, I would say that you get what you pay for. The service, food, and rooms are decent. We were there for 7 nights and did not get tired of the food because the main buffet has a vast amount of options to choose from. Some dishes are made really well and others are left to be desired so you just gotta feel it out as you go along. We ate good. I dont find going to the restaurants really worth it. We went to the Italian one and the Asian one and were not impressed at all. I prefer the main buffet area that has most of those cusines available anyway. Booking through Cheapcarribean gives you access to the VIP facilities and I would've gotten pretty bored without it. The VIP Beach is where we spent most of our sunbathing. It is Amazing and the highlight of the resort. The drinks are much better there and cigars are also all-inclusive. The beds on the beach are so luxurious and relaxing as you stare off into the ocean and the servers come up to you to see what you want. That section won me over. Since we were there for 7 nights, it was an absolute MUST for us to do some excursions. We did the horseback riding, day trip to paradise island, and the damajuagas (27 waterfalls). All of them were AMAZING and were the highlights of our trip overall. You really get to see the country and appreciate it's people and culture. I strongly encourage that if you come here you do the horseback riding and paradise island. The waterfalls are not for everyone as it is quite adventurous and requires you to be in good physical shape since you will be climbing, jumping, hiking, and sliding through the waterfalls. It was a bit intense but a great experience if you willing to take a walk on the wild side.
When it comes to the rooms, the structure of the showers is a bit of a disaster as you get water all over the place so you have to keep the pressure low. the lighting in the room is very dim but may not be much of an issue if you dont spend much time in the room. Room service can be a bit slow at times. Overall, its a pretty good value for what you pay and there are alot of Dominicans that stay at this resort which I found interesting and cool. The Sunday Night Welcome Party is Really Nice.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank melucky385
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2010

We stayed there in may and it was awesome the service was impecable, the beaches were great, food was the best at the buffet (but I only tryed one restaurant indochina) If i would suggest book with cheapcarribean and get the VIP beach the best place to be.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank dimka171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wales
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2010

My boyfriend and I visited this resort last august. After reading all the terrible reviews I thought i'd post my experience up.

We're a younger couple but we're also used to 4* to 5* resorts as you can really get your money's worth with them! We were late booking so we thought we'd give this one a try.
It was our first trip to the Dominican Republic so we didn't know what to expect, especially after we read the bad reviews.

CHECK IN.
Check in went smoothly. Our room wasn't ready so we waited at the lobby bar for an hour or so and had a quick drink. The lobby is nice, no complaints about it and the barman was lovely! We made a MASSIVE mistake of agreeing to meet with the timeshare people as we didn't know what they were entirely. This 'meeting' took up about 2 hours of our time just for them to basically groom us for scamming. We didn't book as a VIP which later on we found was punished.

ROOMS
The rooms were average, ours was clean but the sink and shower seemed not capable of staying at one temperature, not a huge problem. We did have a few cockroaches and bugs but I suppose that's expected in the Carribean. The safe in our room didn't work, we contacted the desk and they sorted it for us no problem. The beds were NOT comfy at all and the pillows were horrible which lead me to have headaches alot of mornings.

FOOD
I didn't see the massive problem with the food? I found it to be of expected standard. The buffets had loads of choice, could get a little repetitive if you're staying for 2 weeks but there's still much to choose from including all the restaurants. I found the deserts to be a bit of a let-down if i'm honest but the rest was all good for a 3*. Some people were complaining that the food wasn't really hot, you have to take note that it is impossible for them to keep the food perfectly hot out of the oven as it will need to be left out for people to choose from!! It still tasted warm enough for us. We loved eating at the snack restaurant near the beach which I think is a fish restaurant in the evenings, but at lunch it serves burgers and chips etc which were yummy.

POOL
I thought the pool was lovely! It could get a little crowded at some points but if you go to the top pool with the swim-up bar it's quieter. The pool was always clean when we were there. The swim-up bar was good, we spent alot of time there. Bar men were a little grumpy at this bar but they do work long hours and hard. Pool volly ball was sometimes played in the pool aswell as water exercise. Throughout the day, the entertainers would put on a few competitions and races. Not many people seemed to want to be a part of this so the entertainers would have a hard time getting people to join in, the few that did including myself and the boyfriend ended up having good fun. The music by the pools can be a little loud at some points which could be a negative. We found it difficult to get loungers sometimes in the day. There weren't that many of them and alot of them were broken.

SPA
We didn't really use the spa, it is right near the pool so you can't miss it but it seems to be pretty empty alot of the time. I used it to get my toe nails done, they were good but quite rough and painful during the process!! The spa didn't really have much attraction which surprised me as the resort is also a spa. I could be wrong as we didn't really use it.

BEACH
We hardly ever used the beach, we found it to be a big big let down. It didn't have any beauty within it and was really very small. We're big beach goers so this was one of the biggest negs of our trip. Nothing else to say about it really, I wouldn't recommend this resort if the beach means alot to you!

VIP!! - ugh
As I said, we weren't members of this VIP thing. Basically if you pay for VIP or are members of the timeshare group (i'm not entirely sure how it works) then you get a special band. I found they got treated ALOT better than standard band wearers. On a certain night of the week (can't remember which night) there is a massive VIP party on the beach where there is a BBQ music and fireworks, ONLY VIP MEMBERS ARE ALLOWED TO GO. It's almost as if they rub this in your face, you can see it all and hear it all while you're stuck in the resort watching without being able to join. It feels like a punishment. The resort was always quiet when this was going on. The VIP thing is a massive let down of the resort to non vips.

STAFF
The entertainers were a huge highlight of our trip, we got to know them all and they were all lovely! worked extremely hard, they gave us a bottle of wine before we left. Awhhh.

WEATHER
the weather was gorgeous when we went in august, only rained once for 20 minutes in the evening then cleared up! Sun sun sun and hot hot hot all the way through. We were lucky.

ENTERTAINMENT
There is a stage for you to watch shows. This is a nice touch and some of the shows can be entertaining but some a little amateur! The stage is always very quiet.

If you're thinking of staying at this resort I wouldn't tell you not to. It depends what you want really. If you're used to higher class resorts you probably won't enjoy this one. We only had a good time because we had to make it ourselves. There is nothing terribly wrong with the resort, it's just nothing special at all. Nothing particularly memorable and I suppose it's good for the price!!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank jhg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2010

We stayed at the Lifestyles Holiday Resort and spa as a member of TAN. Upon arrival it was raining, and getting to our room Building 6, we were a little disappointed in the room. We had both stayed at 5 star resorts in Mexico and this being 3 star we definately could tell the difference. Rooms were clean with white tile that do get slick when wet. They had very little decore, but really this room has everything you need to sleep and get ready.

Around the resort, we could tell it wasn't 5 star unless you were up in the VIP villas and suites, The pools and beach areas were clean and had plenty of chairs to lounging.

The second day we were there, the sun was out we decided to head to the beach to lay out. We actually didn't lay on the beach beach but the section of the resort above the beach with sand and chairs, which was great cause the beaches are not private and they had vendors and people on them. Where we were they left us alone and we got to enjoy the sound and smell of the ocean without hassel.

The resort has pool and beach entertainment staff that are all very friendly and super nice. We really enjoyed getting to meet and talk to them (Jeremiah, Caramelo, Jon (bon Jovi), Santi) They do a great job of keeping it interesting.

This resort is a timeshare and they do try to get you to sign up and become a member (gold band VIP). We spent about an hour touring the hotel and seeing the different types of rooms. This does kinda make the hotel style rooms seem worse than they really are. We declined and they let us go on our way and gave us a bottle of (mamajuma?) Someone told us is rum, honey and red wine that loops you out..HA HA. After that they didn't even ask us again.

Pools were great, pool by our room was hardly used and the activity pool was fantastic. It always had something going on (dancing, aerobics, volleyball, basketball). They also have paddle boats and scuba lessons and snorkel gear you can try.

The bars (by the beach and swimup) was okay. Not a huge selection to choose from but they don't skimp on the alcohol like mexico. Everything was real strong.

Food was ok, not our favorite, but we managed. Food is a personal preferance and we are somewhat picky. So I wouldn't take our word on it to much to heart.

we did 2 excursions. the freestyle catamaran snorkel trip and the city tour. Both were amazing. we sailed to sosua and saw lots of fish and really enjoyed the crew. They kept us laughing and singing. City tour was interesting, with the cable car ride, fort, rum factory, and amber museum. seeing puerto plata and having a tour guide was really fun and he took us to see everything... the church and central park, drove down beach street along the beach. Really had a great time.

They had nightly show that I would compare to high school dance shows, but a lot of them were really entertaining and kept you laughing and smiling. Check in the hotel lobby for times and events or the pool boys ;)

We had free passes to Ocean World. Wear your swimsuit cause they have snorkeling and water areas for swiming up next to tigers and the love birds will land on your hands and eat... VERY COOL. We really enjoyed the shows and park. Very kid friendly and the animals are so close.

The OceanWorld casino and show were really nice. They like their music really loud so if you need earplugs be warned. I wouldn't take kids to the bravassimo show... the dancers wear thongs and pasties on the boobs, vegas style.

Overall, I would go back and would most definately bring kids and family, or a group of friends.

Just know its 3 star and enjoy your stay at a 3 star. Its what you make of it and still a great time meeting people and relaxing.

ps- Everyone is really friendly in the DR.... Didn't meet one rude person.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank destinationknown118
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 May 2010

I have stayed at the Tropical many times, I will be going back in September. Although we are Lifestyle (timeshare) members we have most of our meals in the main buffet. The standard has improved so much in the last 2 years and we certainly did not go hungry. We took my father in law (aged 88) last time. He is a seasoned traveller and VERY fussy about all aspects of any hotel. He was amazed at the high standard of the hotel and only ill health has stopped him coming again. I agree the timeshare reps can be a pain - they keep trying to persuade us to upgrade our membership but we cope. Our only complaint has been that the resort is now too crowded at our favourite time (winter) so we now go Sept/October when it's perfect.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank SeftonScouser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St.Louis, MO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2010

My mom and I just got back from a week here! We had a great time. Flights on American Airline were on time and smooth. Long days traveling mind you, but smooth overall.

The resort is just like it looks like in the pictures on here. I will try and upload some. We had a Superior room right outside of the main buffet. Which by the way had great food! If you are willing to try something new you will never go hungry!! We also ate at the Italian restraunt which was ok, nothing to write home about. My mom ate the Blue Lagoon and din't care for it. Keep in mind this is all relative to our preferences!

It did rain at least once everyday while we were there but we exepected that. It is the Caribbean afterall. And, it wasmore like a shower and then it cleared up back to a sunny day after.

Weather wasn't any hotter or muggier than here in St.Louis but, the hotel isn't exactly setup to handle all the humidity. The last 2 days of our trip our floors, all tile fyi, were damp from the humidity all day! And, the bedding and our cloths were damp. A little hard to get use to, but we made due!

The pool and swimup bar were great. We went on 2 excursions: Outback Safari and the Freestyle Catamaran. Both are a MUST if you go here! Angel on the outback Safari was very knowledgeable and entertaining and Mendi and the crew on the Catamaran were awesome as well. Be sure to take bug spray for the Outback excursion and tips are really appreciated!!

Here are some tips:
1.Only exchange into Pesos if you need to. And, fyi.. we never needed too! There is a currency exchange on site and it is open till 8pm. Rates change daily.
2. Bug spray for any excursions.
3. Be prepared if you do the dunebuggy rides that you will be going on their streets and will have to deal with the exhausts from their vehicles! Might want to avoid that! lol
4. Might want to bring motion sickness meds if you are prone to it. They don't have driving laws really and anything goes.
5. Make dinner reservations ASAP. We made ours 9am on Monday, the day after we arrived, and by that night we were hearing things were already booked for the week. But, the buffet would have been great all week for us too!.
6. If someone approaches you in a white polo shirt and asks you when you arrived DON'T tell them you just go there or "yesterday". Lie. lol Tell them last week. They are people who are trying to take you to a timeshare meeting. We went, but was easy to get out of. Weren't hasseled or bothered by it at all like somepeople have said.
7. If you want to know the hotel activites there is a board in front of the concierges desk. Other than that you won't be told.
8. Gift shops on the resort our higher than vendors, of course and you can talk them down.
9. Outside vendors come on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You can find the same stuff with them and at cheapier prices than on the resort itself.
10. Make sure and take water shoes for the ocean. it is very rocky almot all the way around our beack. We stuck to the pool. Waves were too hard for mom...
11. Enjoy the stay and realize you didn't book a 5-star resort so don't expect perfectoin!!

We did not find the resort to be overly crowded at all. We met some great people, the staff was very nice, and most speak English too. We will definitely go back!
~A~

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AmySTL2010
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 Hotel Puerto Plata
Lifestyle Tropical Beach Resort And Spa
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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