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“don't stay there” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

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The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #10 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
niceville
Level Contributor
34 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“don't stay there”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2010

Immediately upon arrival, all arriving guests are herded into a bus and taken to the resort. By the way, you are taken thru the worst part of town, I guess to scare you into taking only their tours. Once you arrive you must stand in line to register, your room has already been assigned and request are not honored. You are required to attend a meeting the next morning at 9:30 am in which they warn you against going outside the resort without taking their tours for a fee. Then without telling you what they are up to, you are taken to another building where they begin a hard sell into a vacation club. They try to tell you that you are obliged to listen even when you know you aren't. This waste about 2 hours of precious vacation time.

Yes they have four restaurants and the buffet service area. To get a table in one of the restaurants you must stand in line about 2 hours in the middle of the day and still will not get a table. We didn't. You must then eat at the open air buffet line. The food is poorly prepared, not cooked through, and covered with flies. Several people got food poisoning while we were there.

They have a special beach with beach beds available but the spaces are so limited you must be in line by 6:30 am to reserve one. Not the ideal way to spend your vacation.

Being experienced travelers, my husband and I hired a private taxi and guide for about the same the hotel tours would cost and the guide took us to many wonderful places at our pace and to many authenic and safe restaurants. We were so impressed with the guide and driver we hired them the next three days. With an experienced guide and driver you can experience the Dominican Republic. At the resort there is nothing but bad food, cut rate drinks and a so so beach. DON'T STAY HERE, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank oglets1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,010)
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English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2010

4 of us went stayed from the day before Thanksgiving to one week after. Two twenty something and two 55 plus. All of us had a great time.

The VIP beach was fantastic, the beds on the beach so comfy, the drinks .... I could go on and on.

I suggest that you tip the hotel clerk when you check in, if you have room preferences. And of course tip your servers, they are thrilled with a dollar for 2 drinks.

The downsides, was that the beds were not the most comfortable. Call the front desk for refills for you in room suite, refrigerator, don't try to leave notes for the maid.

Oh and be careful the pools are very slippery when you are getting in.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CasualTraveler92131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2010

This hotel is fine if you do not want to spent too much money but i would not go second time. Rooms were ok but not what on the picture and they like more people VIP rather then others. Food wasnt that great and for the beach you have to get up so early to get a spot on it otherwise no spots. A lot of mosquitoes, WI-Fi is sucks waist of money and did not get any result tried to sent email it took me forever to get to it. To get reservation for A la carte restuarant is impossible unless you are VIP have a gold, blue braslet.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lelik79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2010

Very dated resort, radio in room was broke, both sliding doors could not be locked, lock on door could not be locked, all the wood furniture has hundreds if not thousands of tiny bugs. Found letter in room saying that they will be fumigating soon. Restaurants were C- and odd hours. You were hounded everyday until you went on a Resort trip so they could sell you part of the resort. We had to hide from the guys in white everyday. Finally gave in so they would stop stalking us. They took no for an answer with not much problem. CoCo tours is one of the ones they offer there again sub par. Make you stop at villages where children try to steal your wallet and one woman actually said that I could buy her baby. Save you time and money and do not go here. P.S the ocean was beautiful!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cjoerger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2010

I booked this trip for my fiance & I through CheapCaribbean.com a couple of months ago. Since it was a quick decision, I didn't read through the reviews until after we had booked. After reading recent reviews, I was really nervous about our trip. Everyone kept saying how horrible the rooms were, how the food was terrible, how the people were rude... So, I want to set the record straight (from my point of view, anyways.)

We arrived at the airport in Puerto Plata onThursday afternoon. A gentleman asked us where we were staying and showed us to the CheapCaribbean.com desk outside of the hotel. We had not signed up for the hotel transfer, but there was room on the van, so they let us pay up front and took us to the hotel. On the way to the hotel, they give you a "Welcome Packet," as well as instructions to meet at 9:30am in the lobby the following morning. The meeting is with the CC.com representative, Dioby.

We arrived at the resort and check-in was quick and easy. I had emailed the resort and asked them to place us in Building 5, on the 2nd or 3rd floor. I had read reviews saying Building 5 was relatively quick and away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen, workers, etc. I'm happy to say we were given a room on the 3rd floor of Building 5. The room was fine. Nothing fancy or special, but it was not a dump. Our bed was not very comfortable, but we made due. Yes, what everyone says about the shower is correct. Ours did not drain well, but we just rolled a towel up and put it on the floor to prevent the water from reaching the rest of the bathroom.

We walked down to the VIP Beach to check it out and get some sushi. The VIP Beach is AMAZING. There are a bunch of beds, a couple of little pools, and stairs down to the beach. We sat at the bar and had a view drinks. We talked with people who had been there to get the scoop on the good restaurants, what time to get in line to get reservations, etc. Now, as for the sushi bar...You have 4 choices: Calamari, Fried Fish, Crab Stick, & "Spicy" Crab. I was expecting a wider variety, but, no such luck. It was decent. My favorite was the spicy crab. And, there is free Wi-Fi in the sushi bar, although it wasn't working the last two days we were there.

There is a "party" around the main pool. It's buffet style with a wide variety of food. To be honest, there were only a few things we enjoyed. We didn't stick around for the "show" because we were exhausted from a full day of traveling, so we called it a night early.

Friday morning we ate breakfast, which was the only meal we ate at the buffet the whole time we were there. They have fresh fruits, breads, smoothies, an omelet station, waffles, etc. After that we went to the VIP Beach around 8:30 or so and found a bed and stayed there until the meeting. Now, I did not want to go the meeting since I had read it was just a sales pitch. But, I was told that if we wanted a transfer back to the airport, we had to reserve it after the meeting. So, we went. And I was so glad we did. We gathered in the lobby and walked to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant. Dioby filled us in on what was accessible to us at the resort via CC.com, told us about the different restaurants, and explained the "excursions" that were available. They have all sorts of things, from a tour of the city, to a waterfall tour, to snorkeling, to zip lining. The meeting was over in an hour. No mention of time share. A man did approach us about going to get our "Welcome Gift", but we knew he wanted to sell us a time share, so we just said we weren't interested and headed to the beach. We at lunch at the restaurant on the VIP beach. The menu isn't stellar, but we heard it was better than the buffet. They have salads, sandwiches, chicken wings, things like that.

As far as getting a bed at the VIP beach, the earlier you get there, the better. The beach opens at 8am, not always exactly, though. I got there about 15 minutes early and still had to wait in line on two different days. If there are particular beds you want (ex. double decker, a double, one with curtains), then I would suggest getting there early and being prepared to run. It's like running of the bulls sometimes. I just threw a towel on the bed and some magazines and went back to eat breakfast, and never were our things bothered.

They know do dinner reservations between 1-3pm. I was under the impression they were taken in the morning, but no. There is also usually a line for that. I got there about 15 minutes early each time and had to wait, but was still able to get the restaurant we wanted. Also, remember you can only eat at each restaurant once a week. I didn't know that until I tried to make reservation for the same place two nights in a row. Blue Lagoon (Seafood) is by far the best restaurant. I had the Rock Lobster (an extra $25, but I deserved it!), and my fiance had the pasta with shrimp, and both were very good. The next night we ate at Trapiche (Mexican). I'm not a big fan of Mexican food, but was told it was better than the Italian or Chinese place. So, I ordered the Filet Mignon, and was very disappointed. It should've been called roast beef and gravy. At least the mashed potatoes were really good. My fiance had the Grouper, and it was okay.

The best food is the buffet at the Welcome Party, which was Monday night. You take a shuttle from the lobby to a peninsula where they have a huge stage and tons of tables and big tents that house the buffet as well as the bar. They had beef, a few varieties of fish, lobster, oysters, duck, veggies and fruit, pastas, desserts, and just about anything else you wanted. A group of us sat at the very back to be close to the bar. We didn't have a server, so it was convenient to be close to the bar. We tipped about 150 pesos and were given two bottles of champagne and glasses, and when we ran out they would bring us more bottles.

Which brings me to the tipping...I had read to tip the servers at the VIP beach and they would take really good care of you. I found it really difficult to get steady service. Most of the time we had to flag someone down or go to the bar to order our own drinks.

Some of the workers were really rude, but others were really nice and wiling to help. Every place will have a few bad apples. There was some maintenance work being done around the resort, and that was annoying, but nothing that was too noisy.

Overall, the trip was really worth it considering the $10 per person, per night deal. However, I wouldn't go there and pay the full price.

I know this review is long, but a lot of what I had read prior to our trip was very general, so I wanted to give a review that cited examples. Hope it's helpful!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank VictoriaTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanhope, New Jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2010

I went with my 2 little ones and my sister and her 2 older ones. We also read the reviews and were trying to accept that it might not be good, but it was great. We were happy eating at the buffet for all our meals. We attended the festivities. We werent harrassed or bothered with to view timeshare. We went Nov. 18-23 of 2010. We had no lines for anything. We got on the beach, had chairs, the pool and the bars. I was surprised my 2 picky eaters were very happy with the food. I can't wait to go again. They were a lot of fun and very nice.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank baileythere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Deep River, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2010

I went for a 5 day get-away with two girlfriends (on the $10/night offer) and we had a wonderful time! No complaints on this deal! We were treated to a huge buffet welcome dinner and show the night we arrived. After that we were able to get reservations for any of the restaurants we chose. The Blue Lagoon meal was outstanding . . . we had steak, salmon and grouper all meals were excellent. Bellini's the italian restaurant was equally good for Lasagna, Seafood Alfredo and the Pasta Carbonnara. Last, we ate at the Mexican restaurant and had the Steak meal which once again was excellent. The buffet was varied and you could choose whatever you wanted for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner if you were in a hurry. There were plenty of beds by the beach available although if you wanted a swinging bed, you did have to be there by 8:00 to get one as people did reserve them by putting magazines, etc. on them early.

We had to ask for additional towels, etc. but they were always delivered promptly. The staff was super friendly and eager to please and a tip was a guarantee to get above average service! The drinks were plentiful and premium liquors were readily available. We had a wonderful time and for $10/night we even went on the vacation club "tour" and enjoyed seeing the beautiful facilities if you decided to buy-in. (which we did not!) No regrets and I would definitely go back again and recommend to friends.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lynn04081952
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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