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“6th annual girls trip - we're back!!”

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The Crown Villas at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
Ranked #12 of 41 Hotels in Puerto Plata
Coventry, Connecticut
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“6th annual girls trip - we're back!!”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

Once again - we had an amazing time. We booked our trip through Mark Austin - always do and always will. He makes sure we have everything! We are never disappointed and actually most times (before we even leave) we are planning and talking about next year! We had a four bedroom villa this year - simple beautiful. Chef every morning to make an amazing breakfast and of course, my omlet from scratch along with fresh mango smoothies - YUM!! There are 16 different restaurants with the combined resorts now. With so many different restaurant options - everyone will find at least one that they LOVE!! My most favorite dining experience this year was the Brazilian Steak house - that is located on Cofresi. Easy golf cart ride away. Serenity is gorgeous and the 'Oh Crepes' food bar/restaurant is really great. You can have meat/chicken or sweet - the choice is yours. The staff is friendly and accomodating - all you need to do is ask, and if it is within their power - it will be DONE! The question that I am always asked is - what color band - we upgrade to gold.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sandra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
California City, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2013

We bid on a week in a 4 bedroom villa at an auction & was lead to believe the place was "over the top". Gross exaggeration. The local people were very friendly & helpful. The others, not so much. The "chef" was a maid cooking pre-made breakfast. None of the showheads worked & one was installed improperly so sprayed outward the whole time. Everything is cheap - the paper goods, the food, the drinks (watered down), the towels. All the ice cream tastes the same (bad). Our villa had bare minimum appointments (no bedside lamps, 2 towels in each bath), the furniture was damaged and some broken. The beaches were nice (Serenity & NV were our favorites). One morning, we were told someone was going to "show us around this beautiful place" and a man picked us up in a open air wagon. They took us to the sales center. We had NEVER expressed interest in buying & no one even asked us if we were interested in hearing the pitch. Very underhanded. We walked back to our villa WITHOUT the tour. We had a nice enough time with our friends & kids, but I would not go back. It was very disappointing & definitely not "over the top".

Room Tip: Get a newer unit.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank AuctionLoser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
united states
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2013

We booked our trip through prestige worldwide vacations and would highly recommend them. We got gold bracelets booking with them and everything was near perfect. Serenity beach was our favorite. The crepe bar there was the best. The beach waiters there are always close by to get you whatever you want. We had a older 4 bedroom villa but it was still roomy enough. The lights tended to flicker on and off for hours after we turned off the switch. Reed and Lisa made sure our questions were answered before our trip and were available while we were there if needed.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pat R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Orange, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 June 2013

What an amazing vacation!!

We stayed in 2 3 bedroom villas right next to each other, villas 9A&B. They were the older villas so they didn't have all the modern appliances. No sweat off my back because I didn't go there for a modern refrigerator or flat screen tv. The villas were neat, clean and beautiful. Having our own pools was awesome. I had to drag the kids out of the pool every night. The only issue we had during the entire 7 day stay was that one of the televisions broke. One phone call and maintenance came right away and fixed the tv. The pool guy came by every day and cleaned the pool. The maid kept the place immaculate and added nice touches such as fresh flowers and towel animals. The level of service was great. The refrigerators were stocked daily with beer, soda and water. We asked the concierge for juice and tea and our requests were granted. We were celebrating a birthday and the concierge arranged for a cake to be presented at our restaurant for the evening, Rodizio. The staff was great! After dinner, they dimmed the lights, brought out the cake and sang Happy Birthday. It was a memorable evening.

We were in the older villas, perfect location for walking to the beach, store, VIP world. We had a mango tree on the side of the villa. It was great having fresh mango for breakfast every morning. There was also a coconut tree but it was too high to get the coconuts. The golf cart was a nice touch. It was great to have when going to other parts of the resort. Also a lot of fun to drive :) The kids rented bikes by the tennis courts, they had a great time riding around the property. We also rented boogies boards and snorkel gear. The snorkel gear turned out to be goggles only, no tubes available.

On to food - overall, the food was good. Best place to eat is Anja's Lounge. The salmon was excellent, however, the calamari was a family favorite. The kids also liked the burgers and the pasta. Blues was great, Simply gourmet was good, and the fillet at Trapiche was excellent. Indochine was ok, as well as Casablanca and Pearl buffets. We weren't able to try the other restaurants because they were booked. We were only able to get reservations for 4 nights, plus the restaurants are closed on Sundays for the welcome party.

The parties were incredible! The Thursday night party was a blast. The foam was awesome and the costumes were over the top. It reminded me of Carnival. The Sunday night welcome party was simply beautiful. The sunset was the perfect backdrop for a festive night filled with food, amazing entertainment, fire works, and dancing the night away.

Ocean World was so much fun. We did the hamster balls in the water and snorkeled at no extra cost. The sea lion show was great as well as the dolphin and nurse shark shows. We paid the $10 for the kids to use the water slide. They had a great time, well worth the cost. We spent the morning at Ocean World, went back to the resort for lunch, then back to Ocean World to finish out the day.

The beaches were all nice, NV was closed during our stay. Our absolute favorite was Serenity beach. It was so calm and peaceful at Serenity. The hammocks were so relaxing as well as the beds. The staff was great and catered to all of our needs. The crepes were delicious!!!! The food at Harmony beach was the best and the ice cream at Scoops was a nice touch.

Thanks to Lynn Davison for great customer service. We booked through Lynn and she delivered on everything that was promised. I have already recommended Lynn to my friends and family. Having read all the reviews on here, I was nervous prior to my trip. I am so glad I found Lynn because we didn't have any of the issues listed by other reviewers. I will definitely return to this little slice of paradise.

Room Tip: Older villas are within walking distance to the beach.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nickey07017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
atlanta
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2013

Well, well, well! This is my 2nd trip but the 1st since becoming a member. My, my, my was this visit different from the first.......and that is not a good thing. First, they told me I could call them before I arrive (during the bait and switch trick last year) to the resort and they could tell me which Villa we are assigned....didn't happen!

What did happen was were in a house outside of the resort and the place was horrible with roaches, nasty and a dog was locked in the pool house. The problem was one member in my party was allergic to pets so when he walked into the home he asked where there pets there and they said "no" well low and behold this poor animal was locked up but through out the house you see the dog's food bowl and in another room his water bowl. Needless to say he couldn't sleep in the house so he sleep on the patio so he could breath. When I complained about the conditions she actually told me the place wasn't bad and they do not have any villas available (reserved and paid months in advance).

And, get this as "person" came to cook person breakfast---where is the chef? Anyway, she was going to cook with eggs that were in a cabinet when we came in the day before? How long have those eggs been in that cabinet? More importantly, we refused to eat anything in that house as filthy as it was......if you see bugs there are way more unseen. NO! We did not unpack we sleep in our clothes.

Great, we are moved 24 hours later to a proper Villa on the property now and it is much better; well now they inform me what my membership really gets me.......nothing but villa and the maid to cook breakfast which isn't a breakfast but more of a heat up of staple food from the buffet---and eggs/omelet! Where is the chef who prepared my meals the first time? No premium liquor and NO barbeque! Which we all talked about on the flight over to DR.

Then they inform me that if I want the level of service I had the first time I came that I can renegotiate my membership (which I might add is what some people make in a year) to include these things that were told to me that were to be included in the first place. Needless to say my thoughts at this point are not good. I will not even touch on the sales pitch to my cousin that was done when he told the guy he wanted to purchase a property. The salesman didn't even bring them back to the villa told them to take a shuttle. What?

Well, we are still going to make the best of this......we had a great time on the Boogie Ride, the villa we stayed is was nice (outside of the termites in the master---they did treat this problem immediately) and the staff who assisted us were very delightful!! We also hired a tour guide for a day tour of the city and surrounding area, that was really fun and better than the one last year.

We also went into the city a few times to go shopping, dining at the Ponderosa Restaurant the lobster was fab and just to get a vibe for the city. Oh, the Crepes Bar at Serenity Beach is to die for......love it. I would have given a higher rating but how the staff (decision making) mislead us is unaccepted. Yes, we left tips for all the staff at the villa they had nothing to do with our other problems they performed their jobs flawless they others not so much. There are other issues but there is not reason to belabor the point. Feel free to contact me if you want in depth info.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank tracey w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
78 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2013

It is a little long but please read my review before you book a villa, If you get to this hotel and you get a Villa with problems your vacation is going to be ruined! noone in the VIP Villa customer service is going to help you.
I called the VIP customer service on Friday May 3, 2013 to complaint that the construction next door started at 7AM. I was reassured the day before when I check in with Ana that they won’t start until at least 9:30 AM. I was miserable there because not only I got awake by all the noise next door but I hardly slept the night before due to the AC in my room not working and polyester sheet that gave me a rash.I also found many maintenance problem so I want to change the Villa.
When I told Rosie from VIP customer service at 9AM that I need another villa due to be awake by the construction next door at 7AM and that the villa had a lot of maintenance issued, Rosie informed me right away without checking that there were no villa available. I told her to check since I was very uncomfortable there. Ms. Rosie repeated that there was nothing available. I told her how that it was possible since that day people was going to check out and they could give me another villa later on. Ms. Rosie told me that it wasn't possible to give me another villa from people who checked out either! At that point I was frustrated since I didn’t have any sleep the night before and Ms. Rosie not being helpful. We started an argument about it and Ms. Rosie started SCREAMING AT ME and became really nasty. She also told me that I was a liar (btw you never call a client a liar in the service business) since she checked with the construction supervisor and he told her that they didn't start until 9AM. I told her that I didn't need to lie about that. I told her to put to her supervisor and she told me she was the supervisor. I told her that I had stayed in many hotels around the world and noone had been so nasty and unhelpful like her. I also told her that I was going to send an email to the general manager about her attitude toward me. I informed her that I write review in the internet for hotels and that I was going to write about how Lifestyle Vacation Club have bad customer service and about all the problems with the villa. At that point Ms. Rosie changed her attitude with me and out nowhere a 3 bedrooms villa became available!!! I went to check the villa but it was too small since I had 3 more guests. The swimming pool was too small too. They sent Calvin from customer service to help me with all the issued in the villa and he was very helpful and made a list of all the problems. Water pressure, A/C that didn't work, old polyester sheets that gave me a rash (I’m allergic to polyester), dirty swimming pool and for the construction people to start at least at 9AM. The problems with the villa were taken care but the construction started everyday at 7AM the 3 mornings I was there even on Sunday!!
Another problem with bad customer service I encountered was at serenity beach. When I was leaving the premises to go out to eat an employee ask me if I was coming back and I told him that I was back within one hour. The head of security Mr. Frederick Paulino (I think that was his name) told me in a rude manner that if I didn’t come back in 45 minutes he was going to take my stuff away from the ‘bed’. I told him that I needed an hour only and he proceeded to scream at me to be back in one hour right in front of everyone!! What????? I just stayed quiet and left almost in tears.
In a positive note, the waiters, the people at the bar and Joel Genao from security at Serenity Beach are the best staff in the whole resort. Those guys went out the way with my guests and I to make us feel comfortable and relax. They are the best!!! I hope they keep their excellent work. BTW customer service at the Presidential Suite are way nicer and helpful. I stayed at a presidential Suite last November and they went out they way to make my vacation comfortable and enjoyable.

Room Tip: don't stay in a villa that there is construction going on next door unless you want to be awake...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank LilianaCastillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anytown, USA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 April 2013

Review of Lifestyle Vacation Crown Villas

We traveled here in March 2013 on the Gold Bracelets. Access to all except one beach, and all except one restaurant. Nice to be able to get a drink or food anywhere we liked. Food during the day was scattered throughout the resort, so even though the restaurants and buffets were not always open, there's usually some bar food you can get anytime.

Resort: This place is spread out over quite a few acres. Lots of pools and bars to visit. Many people travel the resort by golf-cart, but we walked to as much of it as we could. We had a centrally located villa that made getting to places easy. I suppose that if your villa was off in the neighborhood, a golf cart would come in handy. The resort itself seems to be getting old, and it looks as though they don't want to spend a dime for upkeep if they don't have to. Missing letters in many of the slogan signs gave the place, for me, a general feel that no money shall be spent if something breaks. One issue I do have is that the accommodations you get are not guaranteed in any way. You cannot reserve a particular villa, nor are you even guaranteed to be housed on the resort property. I spoke to a few people who had their "reservation" messed up, and who were not happy with the results.

Accommodations: We had a villa that was centrally located. this one seemed to be on a bit more land than others. This was good as we had 11 in our party. The villa was OK. We had issues with running water (it didn't work 3 mornings out of seven that we were there). Our shower head was broken, and replaced with a hose/head. The wall mount for the head was crap so the shower stream pointed at the wall 100% of the time unless you held the head in your hand. The shower door rollers were busted, so opening and closing the door was tricky at best. Although we did have an outdoor eating area (which we used everyday due to the size of our group), there were two A/C units just next to the table which made breakfasts quite noisy with people shooting above the din of the A/C to hear each other. The bed in our room was just OK. The windows in our room didn't close all the way, leaving space for the heat of the day to enter. Of all the A/C units in our villa, our room's was the oldest, and had the hardest time keeping up with the heat. Everyone else's rooms were chilled but ours lacked the refreshing feel when coming in from the heat. When we called maintenance, they came to look at it and told us we had failed to turn it on! Maintenance was never any help, and in my opinion they made things worse. When we ordered a spare bed, it came to the wrong room, and as we were moving it stains on the underside of the mattress became obvious (see photos). Upon arrival, after waiting 2 hours after check-in to be able to go to our villa, the pool light was floating out of its socket (see photos).

Water: I list this as a separate item because I feel it is important to mention. The villas had water purification units (like deep rock water dispensers). But there was no sign telling anyone about whether to drink the tap water or not. No one ever mentioned anything about the tap water. One day I was speaking to our maid. I noticed she had made coffee. I asked her which water she used to make coffee. She pointed to the purified water, saying 'I never use the tap water for anything but cleaning'. With that kind of attitude from the maid, I would expect at least a little sign warning people about the tap water. Nope. Nada. Not a mention anywhere. I used a bit of tap water when brushing my teeth, and am still paying for it with the trots even after arriving home.

Beaches: The beaches here are decent. Our favorite was Serenity beach, with NV beach being a close second. These are both Gold band beaches, so not everyone gets into them. Serenity is a ways away form most of the action, and so we found it to be quite pleasant and much less crowded (if at all). We also enjoyed the beach beds (not chez lounges, beds). There are hammocks in many places, even double-decker beach bed setups. Great for families.

Drinks: Drinks are available everywhere you go. The beaches have waiters who come around with drinks and food if you want to remain relaxed. Although they have higher end alcohols at the bars, you have to ask for it to get it. The refrigerator in our villa was supposedly to be stocked everyday with cervezas waters and cokes. This didn't happen unless we requested it, and at first they were only stocking us with 5 waters and 5 beers. We had 11 in our party, so this quickly became a problem, if for nothing more than, we had to drink bottled water (tap was no good). One day, we requested a double order of drinks to our fridge, which they filled, but then they didn't give us anything the next day. And by the third day, we had to ask again for the regular amount of drinks to the fridge.

Food: Most of the food is what I'd call bar-food. in USA, this kind of food can easily be found at cafeteria and or buffet style restaurants. This is to be expected, after all they are feeding tons of people throughout the day in numerous places on the resort. The restaurants, the ones where you must reserve a place, do have better food. Mostly because they are serving to a smaller, captive audience. Jazz, Simply Gourmet, and Rodizzio were all good. I would say that overall, the food is nothing to write home about.

Service: There are two types of service at this place. The wait-staff, and the people who handle the requests/deal with the problems. I will start by saying the wait-staff are some of the nicest people. They are trying their best to make your stay enjoyable. I tipped these folks a dollar here and a dollar there. After repeat service by a couple of them, it was fun to see them everyday and have the ones you knew help you out when possible. The other 'service' folks here are the one who have to deal with any sort of problem, issue, or request that you may have. These people seem to be directed by those who know that anything that needs fixing costs money. Money the resort is apparently unwilling to spend. So, if and when you request ANYTHING, you will get nothing but the run-around. It will take at least 3 attempts at asking before anything (if anything) gets done. Not my expectation at a 5 or 6 star resort, and this is the main reason I only gave this place a 3-star overall rating. They SAY they are here to make your stay enjoyable, but they will not ACT to make your stay enjoyable. Its all lip service.

Pros: Good beaches. Lots of room to spread out and relax. Lots of bars. Pool at each villa. Plenty of food, but not anything special.

Cons: You cannot reserve a particular villa. Tap water not drinkable. Lots of maintenance issues that never get resolved. Food is mediocre. Place is starting to look run down.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank 679daved
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Plata
#11 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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