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“Definitely worthwhile to pay to get the highest status”

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The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #13 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Level Contributor
56 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Definitely worthwhile to pay to get the highest status”
Reviewed 19 June 2012

We just got back from a very nice week at one of the 3 bedroom villas. The most important advice I could give is that it is definitely worthwhile to pay to get the highest status. We had the gold VIP bands and were able to go to the best beaches and restaurants. We did see some of the other places open to guests without the gold bands, and they were not even close to being as nice. I don’t think going to this resort would be worth it without the gold bands.

The villa we rented was perfect, very well laid out and comfortable. However, the pool was very deep so it was not so good for children. I think each villa has a different type of pool. Our housekeeper/cook was fabulous, and it was a real luxury to wake up to a pot of fresh coffee and have breakfast made for us each am.

There was a lot for kids to do at the resort, including a kid’s pool and kid’s club, so our 2 1/2 year old grandson had an especially wonderful time. The staff at the resort was generally extremely friendly and great with kids. They all seemed genuinely happy to see my grandson and catered to his needs/wants even in the fancier restaurants.

The food at the VIP restaurants was generally very good, and the restaurant staff was fabulous. Three of the VIP restaurants were closed while we were there – a bit disappointing, but the ones that were open were quite nice. We liked Jazz and the Brazilian restaurant best. There was a good selection of lunch foods available at the VIP beaches. The drinks were also very good (the iced coffee is highly recommended.)We liked Serenity Beach the most, but also spent lots of time at Harmony Beach.

The grounds of the resort are huge. Although they are nicely planted, it would be an improvement if there were more places to sit (not just at the beaches/pools). Some garden areas would be nice. Having a golf cart was a huge bonus. At one point during the week, our golf cart was stolen while we were having dinner, Although the staff got it back for us the next day, we needed to rely on the shuttles for a little while. There is no way to walk to things given the size of the grounds, and the shuttles were a problem, especially with a young child. When we did call for a shuttle, it often took 30-45 minutes to arrive.

We had free tickets to Ocean world included in our package. It was cute, but I think it would generally be better for older kids, 8 and up. It wouldn’t have been worth it if we had to pay. There were a lot of things that weren’t included in the admission, including lunch and dolphin/shark encounters (and moderate pressure to buy them), and the swimming opportunities were much worse than we had at the resort. The pools at Ocean World were not especially clean.

We were very disappointed in the lack of decent wifi access throughout the resort. If this is something that is very important to you, you might want to look for accommodations elsewhere. There was no wifi in the villa, and the wifi on the beaches and at the pools was spotty at best - a real surprise in a resort of this caliber.. You can go to the VIP offices in the “Tower”, and the wifi there generally worked, but it wasn’t an especially pleasant place to spend time, especially given how nice the beaches and pool areas were. There was a bar/coffee shop there, but the tables were generally crowded with people getting sales pitches for buying property/shares. It was noisy and certainly not private. Keeping in touch through Skype was very difficult.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank desertdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (158)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 June 2012

After reading mixed reviews for months on this page, we were not sure of what to expect. Our friends who are owners, had not been at this place in 4 years and it was obvious that they were expecting a lot more than what we received. However, I've spent 25 years managing hotels and I can say : -Every service employee we came across was friendly, efficient and tried to make an effort to help us" (It also helps a lot if you speak Spanish). Our cook/housekeeper "EDUbigon" prepared our breakfast every morning, while having our 8:30AM breakfast our friendly "pool boy" showed up to tidy up the outside. Sybil, our Concierge came in by 9:00AM to check our activities,beverages and our restaurant reservations. Our favorite restaurants in descending order were: 1. El Pilon, Dominican food excellent; 2. Jazz (New Orleans), 3)Trapiche, Mexican, 4) Brazilian Steak House, 5) VIP Gourmet, 6) Blue Lagoon, Seafood.
The Casablanca buffet was typical College Cafeteria food. The friendliest waiters were at the
top three restaurants, the rest of them were just fair. Great welcome party, great shows. The Casino was a disappointment. The best pool is the VIP pool and bar by the welcome center.
Note: It helped us when someone wrote in this blog to bring $200 for tips. My wife and I brought
$100 US in $2 bills and $100 US in $5 bills. We tipped the waiters, maid/cook, pool boy, limo driver and believe us they were very thankful for our tips. The next time we visit the bar or restaurant they recognized us and remembered our drinks. Best beach to go "Serenity" in the compound but, if you have a chance take the "Golden Sands" beach trip., it is a 9:00AM to 3:30 PM day trip included in your package. This Golden Sand Beach is definitely the best area beach, it is 30 min. from the complex.The Gondola Trip to the top of the mountain was breathtaking but, the City Tour was not a great choice. (There isn't much to see in the city.)
Also NOTE: Do not buy liquor unless is Duty Free shop and you plan to put it in your Checked Baggage. They confiscated all the liquor at the checkpoint......Coming back to MIami, Intl. Aipt is like going thru hell. It takes roughly 45-60 min to get from the AAL terminal to the US Customs Passport Center, then you have to go out and recheck through TSA again, add another 30 min. So plan your flights accordingly, we had a 3hr layover until our home flight
but, after going through the Customs and TSA and walking to the gate, we had a 30 min break to grab dinner at "La Carreta Restaurant" at MIA airport. Great Cuban Food.

Room Tip: Crown Villas 2-AB were perfect. Good view of the beach, within walking distance to all activities.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jay R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 May 2012

We just returned from a long weekend 50th birthday celebration at Lifestyle’s. Our group consisted of 12 women; 8 of whom were turning 50 this year. We had a blast.
I am a member and had originally booked the Presidential Suites for our stay. Three days before we were to leave NY, the resort called me and told me that my group had to be moved. After many frustrating conversations between myself and the resort (and conversations with a member who has a higher membership than I do) we were placed into 2 three bedroom villas. Being in the villas actually worked out better for our group; even though we were not next door to each other (as originally promised) we were close enough.
Ten of us flew into Santiago and were met at the airport by our wonderful driver Alejandro from MyDominicantransfers.com. All 10 of us could fit in the van with a cart behind us for luggage. We had enough room in the van that on the return trip we were able to fit all of the luggage in the back seat. The owner of the company even called us while we were in route to the resort to make sure everything was okay, he called again on our return drive to Santiago to make sure we had a great vacation.
Our 4 days at the resort flew by. We had great dinners at both VIP Restaurant and Jazz. At both restaurants all 12 of us were seated together. At Jazz the staff surprised us with birthday cakes and a robust Dominican version of happy birthday to the 8 birthday girls.
We spent a lot of time at the pool on top of the hill on the Cofresi side. We loved the swim up bar and the unbelievable view. We also had lunch at the Tapas Bar, I highly recommend this place. The olives and sangria were out of this world. Once again, the staff surprised us with a birthday cake and more singing.
The Sunday Night Welcome party was fantastic. The waiters put a few tables together so the 12 of us could sit together. They always made sure our glasses were full and that we were enjoying ourselves.
All in all our ’50 is Fabulous” birthday party was a huge success. The weather was perfect, food was terrific, and the drinks tasty. We hope to make this a yearly event

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JCD62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2012

Dream Vacation I cannot say!!! May 23-30, 2012 will be another nightmare. I must say I'm truly disappointed, ( This you are not going to believe so keep reading!) I booked my Villa 2 years ago thru Mark Austin, I gathered 34 people to attend; we all were to stay in villas. I booked and paid approximately 8 months before our arrival. One week before our arrival to the resort Mark told us that they could not accommodate us for our Villa because the resort was overbooked. They set us rooms in the Tropical (YUK), gave us a party and offered us a villa certificate for our Villa to for another visit. It was a nightmare. can you imagine trying to pacify 34 people with not getting what they expected. Nevertheless, the resort promised that my next experience would not be the same.

So folks, you are not going to believe this, I booked 6 months ahead of time for my Villa for May 23-30 , 2012, which at the time it was suggested from the resort that it's the best time to for availability) I got a call today 5/22, 2012 a day before our arrival and Amber told me they could not give me my villa because they are overbooked due to availability again. Really? you would think I would be a priority because of our past history..but obviously not the case. I broke down in serious tears, I have been crying all day because I can't believe the treatment. And trust me, they are giving much of the "I don't care attitude" it is what it is.It's to late for us to cancel our airfare. I told a few people who share this experience 2 years ago, and they stated then it was racism. At the time,I didn't think that, but now I have to question to why the poor customer service. I mean really? I spoke to Mark and of course he stated that he could not do anything. But I now question, his efforts. Because I'm in this mess because I booked from him.

I'm so upset, I can't believe I'm going thru this again, really ... 1 day before our arrival and I inquired and received confirmed booking for my villa seven months ago. This is really unbelievable, I tried would like to know how would you feel if your were in my position? I called several, times Amber (Customer Service Rep) and Eva (Customer Service ) to discuss directly. But of course, I believe my calls were being avoided, first they told me you both were gone for the day and then they told me your were in a meeting.

Nevertheless, I did everything I was supposed to in reference to properly booking timing and communication. Once again the resort failed to follow thru with good business practices, and customer service. Two years ago I was assured and promised that I would not go thru this again. I was in the resort office for hours and days at a time discussing this issue to help pacify the 34 people that committed to the last trip. It was a total nightmare and I see now they are offering the same experience again.

Please excuse any grammatical errors, I'm delirious and now have to finish packing for a vaction trip that will not be a good experience again.

Room Tip: I don't know, WOW! I guess if you book thru Marc Austin or Amber you are not guaranteed to ge...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank allyaka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winthrop, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

The Villas are awesome. I loved having breakfast made for every morning. Sitting by your own pool to enjoy the views.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Boomer0015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny H, Public Relations Manager at The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this review, 21 May 2012
Dear Guest Boomer0015:

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recently vacation at Lifestyle Crown Villas.

We are very pleased to read that you had a wonderful holiday; your comments help us to always improve our service.

Looking forward to welcome you back


Jenny Hernández
E-Commerce Concierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2012

We just got back a week ago from our 2nd stay at Lifestyles, on our first visit we bought into a villa. I was worried after reading the reviews about everything from airport pick-up at Puerto Plata, all the way to what villa we would get. I did confirm repeatedly and the one concern I had was that I received a response that "they could not guarantee the 6 bedroom we requested, but that they would provide two 3 bedroom villa's if they could not accommodate us in a 6 bedroom set up".

I was happy when I arrived that our transportation was available (within 30 minutes of our arrival at the airport) and that we were provided a 6 bedroom villa. The villa we received was older and the furniture could certainly have used a facelift, however it had spectacular views, a beautiful pool and two comfy beds with huge pillows that flanked the pool on each side. I was told that the villa was privately owned and that they had to check with the owner about a repair we recommended during our stay. If I had to trade off the views for the older versus newer villa, it would be an easy decision to go with the views and access, some of the villas are quite a distance from the restaurants and beaches. We were in villa Casa Piloto "CP", which was very close to VIP Beach and the villa had a steps to both the beach and the entrance to VIP Beach.

I would recommend eating at Azul, VIP Gourmet, both excellent, Blue Lagoon and Jazz. The buffets for lunch were not terrific, but there was usually a pretty good selection of food to select from. Azul also offers a great lunch (limited menu) M-F only. Harmony beach also has a great lunch and ice cream, though from a "hanging out" perspective, it was quite crowded if you were to suntan there.

The staff did a pretty remarkable job checking in with us at the villa, minimally 4-5 times during our 1 week stay and were very responsive to any requests that we had (ice, juices, additional towels) and our maid put fresh flowers in various places in the villa each day. They even cleaned the pool every morning, which included vacuuming and rearranging any moved deck chairs.

Go to the welcome party early - take your golf cart to the entrance by Serenity Beach, this will get you closest to the stage for the show and also very close to the huge buffet that they do. The party goes on until midnight, so you may want to keep in mind - you can hear the band all over the resort. The nightly shows (we went to 3) were just OK, the show at the casino was good albeit LONG. Don't miss going over to the casino though the night of the show, they have an open bar for all Lifestyles guests, transportation to and from the show, provide gambling certificates for a free hand or slot play (I think it was either $5 or $10), and they have really great appetizers prior to the show. We had a great time and are looking forward to our next trip.

Room Tip: TIPS are important, we tipped the pool guy, the maid, the bartenders, the driver to the casino and t...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Colleen-WP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny H, Public Relations Manager at The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this review, 7 May 2012
Dear Guest Colleen-WP

Thank you for taking the time to post a review of your recently vacation at Lifestyle Crown Villas.

As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us. I’m delighted to read that your expectations were met and that you will return to us when you next visit at Dominican Republic.

We thank you for your compliments and for appreciating the efforts of our staff to transform this stay for you as an unforgettable one.

We are already willing to welcome you back, please contact us before your next visit.

Best Regards

Jenny Hernández
E-Commerce Concierge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

I just got back from Lifestyles Crown Villas, pool blue braclets are just FINE!! Suggestion: STAY IN THE VILLAS!! & GET A GOLF CART! Food: gets a 3- it's alright, I didnt get sick- it was fine- I didn't go on vaca to stuff my face anyway! Drinks- top shelf only available in the VIP section of the resort & on the hotel and suites side they only have regular stuff- but I had top shelf in my fridge at the Villa (free) so I didn't care. Free Wi Fi at VIP and Hookah avail as well. The welcome party on Sundays - huge.. Lots of food, the show gets a 3 for effort - I'm from NY so theie shows didn't impress me to much, but it was a greatly organized. I liked the crowd on the hotel side- so the golf carts important to get around. VIP side - the crowd is a little older and calmer. I had villa # 47B, 3 bedroom, 4 bathrooms, private pool, outside dinning and seating, outside shower, pool lights up at night, I sun bathed every morning after the maid served breakfast in my dinning room as I made mamosas, with the champagne they delivered apon my request. This place is great and cheap!!! To get the best service and villa, call Mark Austin at www.yourdreamvacations.us everyone who helped us check in knew who he was and assured us- we were in great hands booking from him. Also I took an excursion to Sosua Beach and Caberete.. Nice trip. Sosua beach is gorgeous, the resorts beach gets 2, but with all the pool amenities they offer at the resort from pool bars and caves, waterfalls you won't even bother with the beach. And the Lifestyles beach beds are soooo sexy. Lol. ENJOY.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank butterflies_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jenny H, Public Relations Manager at The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, responded to this review, 7 May 2012
Dear Guest Butterflies_travel:

Thank you for posting a review about your stay at the Lifestyle Crown Villas, and for choosing our Villas for your holidays. In the name of our team, we want to express how glad we are to know that you had a memorable holiday; in Lifestyle family we aim to ensure a memorable holiday to our beloved.

We kindly invite you to give us a new visit; please contact us before your arrival.


Yours Sincerely,


Jenny Hernández
E-Commerce Concierge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort

Property: The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Address: Columbus Torre 1 | Playa Confesi, Puerto Plata 57000, Dominican Republic
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > Puerto Plata Province > Puerto Plata
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Plata
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Crown Villas are the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity, as each is a small estate home with sumptuous, private three and four bedrooms that offer guests a unique and exclusive vacation experience. All of these villas are a classical Spanish Mediterranean style architecture, with red tile roofs, stucco plastered archways and distinguished stone columns with generous tropical gardens where hibiscus, bougainvilleas and other magnificent tropical plants abound. All have a private swimming pool, shaded terrace, veranda, kitchen, and a full private bath leading directly off each bedroom. The villas are furnished with rattan, elephant bamboo and a natural Caribbean wattle work and are equipped with air conditioning, overhead fans, and cable television. The Crown Villas are part of the all-inclusive Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort and guests have access to all the facilities of the Resort (excluding the V.I.P areas). A personal maid and an exclusive menu in each of the seven Resort restaurants complete these perfect accommodations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Lifestyle Crown Villas Hotel Puerto Plata
The Crown Villas At Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort Dominican Republic/Puerto Plata

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